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Poetry First Place: Marie’s Dance

City Paper’s 13th Annual Poetry Contest

I’ve danced around that backyard

so many times, the scratching bristles of sun bleached Kentucky blue

poking between my chipped toes

of traditional pink (this is before I discovered unflattering shades that I embrace like saturated fats, like one more episode of Burn Notice before bed at 1 A.M. on a workday, like that gorgeous man so toxic for me . . . the one with the shouty laugh),

the wind whistling slightly into my ears, the unshellacked hair bouncing back

against the smell of Michigan.

I miss you.

I miss you when my eyes flit to the elderly man on Fleet Street rolling in a suit on a bike and I smile and no one else really sees the beauty,

when murland and mooovie slowly slip from my lips casually, the soft drawl creeping in on the harsh “a’s” I so often flaunt,

and when on the west side I know you would be terrified as I walk calmly past the aggressive men, the hostile stares trailing, the smoky summer evening cloaking my car begging to not be shattered to diamonds, Baltimore diamonds.


this is who I am now, and you

are laughing against the backdrop of the pool that has anchored this cornfield since 1982, and you are different, the hands that have touched you have changed and you tap through the years becoming someone different, someone better, someone lovely with webs tangled into other hearts.

The years blur, the time together continuously outpaced by the time apart and

our purple hair grew out long ago. I should really lose the nose ring, eh?

But you’re always mine, I’m always yours

said Anne of Green Gables.

Or maybe, that was just us somewhere along the way

when we became who we were meant to

all along.


Fiction and Poetry Contest Winners

Fiction First Place: “CHAOS” by C.C. Vail
Fiction Second Place: “The Plagiarist” by F.P. Gamber
Fiction Third Place: “So Much Closer and Far More Brilliant” by Jody Costa

Poetry First Place: “Marie’s Dance” by Angie Cochrun
Poetry Second Place: “So Far Child”by Lydia Rich
Poetry Third Place: “Sunday” by Kyle Eichmann

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