February 21, 2021

2020 Merit Award
By Alexandra M. Lucas

Left over
Fruit left off the vine too long without being eaten
Left instead to decay
In the back of a crate
In some cheery farmer’s market
With no air conditioning

Almost all sold
We did well
Good enough!

Now I must do the proper thing —
Collapse into myself
On the bruises and patches of skin
That have lost their softness

Fade from view
So the ones approaching ripeness
Won’t be afraid

A cautionary tale

Look away, now
Look away

*Copyright 2020 by Alexandra M. Lucas. Broadside illustrated by Megan Carroll.

The Spelling Bee*

October 16, 2016

The Spelling Bee by Marlene Chasson
2016 Walk Award
By Marlene Chasson

I walk down the hall to her room.
She is in her chair, eyes closed, hands folded,
her afghan across her knees.
But she is not really there.
She is back in her sixth grade classroom
standing in front of the blackboard
waiting for her teacher to pronounce the next word.
She spells c-a-t-e-g-o-r-i-c-a-l-l-y correctly
and is almost back to her seat
when I say, “Hello there, how are you today?”
She slowly opens her eyes, remembers where she is
And tries not to show her disappointment
when she sees me standing there
with a vase of flowers in my hand.

. . . . .
*Copyright 2016 by Marlene Chasson. Broadside illustrated by Kim Wulfestieg.

Poem: Moving On*

August 10, 2014

Linda Conroy - Moving On
Moving On
By Linda Conroy
2014 Walk Award

We have to leave when the cafe closes
but it’s alright — we’ve been there
long enough, through the chocolate
of youth to the green tea of health,

our stories old enough to solidify,
to have melted into history,
our minds, like the old wooden tables,
wiped clean of worry.

*Copyright 2014 by Linda Conroy. Broadside designed and illustrated by Anita K. Boyle, Egress Studio.

Too Busy Growing Up*

October 24, 2010

Placard design by Egress Studio
By Sue C. Boynton

This business of growing old
        bothered me once
            when I was fifty-five.

But now at threescore years and ten
        (plus five)
            all fears concerning age are gone
                and I’m just glad to be alive.

To be alive!
        To find upon the table of each day
            a brimming cup of challenge
                to go on.

So…I’ve stopped growing old—
        Too busy
            growing up!

*This poem is included in the volume Heart on My Sleeve by Sue C. Boynton, Hope B. Friedmann, ed., copyright 1976 and 1980.

In This Place*

September 24, 2010

Placard design by Egress Studio
2006 Walk Award
In This Place*
By Barbara Davis-Pyles

I was born of flesh and bone —
a traveling bit of clay
with a jagged little soul.
Over the years
of rough times
and hard weather,
I’ve been worn both
out and down.
And how I’ve lamented my losses.
When all this time
I was simply being
and shined to a high polish
I was a perfect fit
in this time
in this place
next to your jagged little soul
now smooth.

*Copyright 2006 by Barbara Davis-Pyles. This poem is included in POETRY WALK: Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest – The First Five Years. Info: Book! Placard design by Egress Studio.

Little Mothers*

August 18, 2010

2009 Walk Award
Little Mothers*
By Dorothy Regal

Our daughters become our mothers,
as we shrink into old age.
They hover over us,
take our gnarled hands in theirs
as we step off the curb
into the menacing street,
match their long strides
to fit our short, tentative ones,
walk us slowly to stores to buy
something they decide we need.

They ask what we did yesterday
when they make their daily calls,
give us all the time it takes
to remember the answer.
We let them play their parts,
knowing their need and ours,
try for patience, for gratitude,
cannot believe how powerful
and kind they have become.

*Copyright 2009 by Dorothy Regal. This poem appears in POETRY WALK: Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest – The First Five Years. Info: Book!ve Years. More information: Book!
Dorothy Regal reads winning poem at 2009 Boynton Awards

Diminishing Returns*

August 10, 2010

2009 Walk Award
Diminishing Returns*
By Kate Berne Miller

My mother stands at the shoreline
as the tides ebb and flow. Some days
the water recedes so far out, reaching
toward the horizon, exposing rough
rocks and stumps of trees long sub-
merged. Purple and orange starfish
cling to rocks in tidal pools. Here and
there old memories surface, glitter
like beach glass in the mud. She
crouches down for hours, turning
each one over and over in her hands.

Other days the tide rushes in too
fast, rippling in late afternoon light,
erasing delicate tracing of snails,
Morse code of sandpipers and gulls
engraved in the sand. Steel blue waves
snatch away names, places, dates,
smoothing convoluted pathways
of the brain, obliterating every-
thing in their path. On these days my
mother peers into the distance, longing
for landmarks, searching for all
the drowned stories.

*Copyright 2009 by Kate Berne Miller. This poem appears in POETRY WALK: Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest – The First Five Years. Info: Book!

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