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Welcome to Garden 5309 in

Click the links below to read the winning poems for the week of March 9, 2005.

Poetry Gardens of Fame Index

First Place
Second Place
Third Place
Fourth Place


Linda Sky Parker


those mornings he made coffee for him
in the pot had the stain baked to the bottom
and made milk for me
served it in white mug with blue flowers
and so many chips around the rim
there wasn't even one smooth place for my mouth to sit
he looked at me through sluggy gray slits
that seemed more like his eyebrows than his eyes
he didn't say much on those mornings
and didn't say much ever
and with so few words, memory's not real crowded
so the words he did say
I remember each one
(even though everyone says I was too young to remember anything)
like once,
he once told me that he couldn't see any of my momma in me
"not one trace" he said
and then we looked back at our matching chipped cups
and the moan of neglect scraped at the shutters
a chorus of burnt pot, chipped cups, and me

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Joe Testa

A Rusted White Truck

I stormed out the door, frustrated
by her angry words.
Failure, disappointment;
dagger words she used to cut me down.
My soul, once precious to me, had sold at
a bargain.
There was nothing left to give.

My precious path would sooth me.

I stepped out, head down, and felt
chilled; the air was ominous, electric.
The hair stood up on my neck; my path
had never done this to me before.
With nothing but hurt behind me,
I walked on.

A white pickup, rusted, tilted on an
Bracing my hand on the roof, peeking
through the window, I was jolted
by images that flickered to life and
were gone.

A toddler laughing in a car seat, fearless
next to a god who drove with one hand
on the wheel.
A dog, black and proud, blind trust,
wagging tail, wind on his snout.
A wife sitting up high with smiling eyes,
secure in her proud love.
A man, cocky and strong, smiling
inwardly at success he knew
would be his.

A drunken teenager furious at the words
of that a**hole (no longer a god).
An ancient blind dog, trusting, making his last
trip to the vet.
A broken wife, makeup smeared,
fleeing to her sister's house.
A man, dead drunk, gripping the wheel,
one handed and white knuckled.

Drained of energy I stepped back
and wept.

Turning around, fear froze me motionless.
My path would lead me back, but
to what?
Home or a rusted white truck.

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Ann McGovern

In a Taxi

Riding to the hospital,
my daughter-in-law sang
all the rivers of Ireland very fast and
recited the alphabet backwards.

The surgeon removed a growth,
right there on the pituitary gland,
close to the brain.

She feared going blind,
dancing naked in a garden,
feared becoming a vegetable.

She hated vegetables,
hated Rumanian gypsies in Ireland,
and hospitals.

My son, feared she would die
while I feared the rock I was becoming
would crumble into the rivers
Liffy, Lee, Shannon, Barrow, Noir.

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Paul Okwudili Nwankwo

Sound of the Bugle

Unleased from the abyss
Those spurring spirits of the hades
That fitfully provokes the mortal
To damn the spitles of a mortar
Sounds the heroes bugle
Striking demons to eardrums
Of the most reasonable of men
Manipulating the adrenaline
And triggered men to be men
Confronting the spirits with courage
In a stare that glows like a fire
In a quake of the earthquake
Prepared to lift the mountain
Even though the heavens fall

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