The Winners of the 2017 Poetry Contest

Letter to a Slave
By Lucinda Sue Crosby

You can’t take your ailing grandpa, your mother or your son
No doubt you’ll never see them again
You’ve been taught the Code Of Quilts; one by one, they’ve been hung
Your time has come and if you run, you’ll catch the train

Go out and steal some tools and an extra pair of shoes
Take the master’s coat to keep you dry
Forget about the theft – it’s your life that’s left to lose
At least you’ll be a free man when you die

You’ll walk a thousand miles for every hour’s sleep
And when your raging hunger stays unfilled
Whisper, “Freedom is not free; her price is steep and deep ...
A choice you make - a risk you take - an act of will.”

Next Saturday at midnight’s the perfect time to start
Cause THEY won’t know you’re gone till Monday dawn
Gather up this letter with the outrage in your heart
Our memories of love will keep you strong

When you lose your way, let the North Star be your guide
If you hear dogs or horses’ hooves, find a place to hide
Trust the ragged, ancient beggars; they’re angels in disguise
Conductors of the Railroad ... the Liberty Line

 I have dreamed about this moment throughout our married life
It’s time to go.  God keep you ... your ever loving wife

© 2017 luckycinda

Seasons of the Heart
By Lucinda Sue Crosby

I remember how it rained the day my grandma died
How the misty, cloudy, morning mirrored what I felt inside
As I gave her one last rose and heard the preacher start
I swear I heard her whisper – “It's a season of the heart.”

So tender through my sadness, husband took my hand
Didn't have to speak a word to make him understand
Held me softly close beside him till lonely slipped away
In that sweet and sacred moment, our first‑born son was made

Now the sound of gentle laughter and a tugging on my sleeve
Bring me back from long ago –“ Grandma, it's time to leave.”
As joy and heartache mingle to set this day apart,
I whisper to the child "It's just a Season of the Heart."

Seasons of the heart; a weaving of the threads
Winter turns to spring; green to golds and reds
Ever‑changing feelings, whether bright or dark
Are blended through our lives into the Seasons of the Heart.

© 2017 luckycinda

If I Had Known
George E. Shultz

If I had known
when I gave you
to the barber for
your first haircut
and you wore those so blue trousers
and kingly red blazer
with fake brass buttons
standing by the housefront
you waved to me and then
I photographed your grin.

If I had known
when you with
unpracticed first-year feet ­­–
and tender toes
so gently stuffed
into still-white hard-soled leather shoes
(the Sunday best)  –
saved your steps and smiled in place.

If I had known
when I relinquished you
to Little League on Saturdays
and watched so little
as you swung your little heart out
and I was anxious for a little beer and pizza.

If I had known
that you struggled playing eighth-grade basketball
because the yet-unmet malignance in your belly
was munching at your guts
and that your heart’s sad deadline
was fast approaching on the fat feet
of that multiplying monster.

If I had known
would I have hugged you more?

Certificate of Achievement
Brianna Erb

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