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Category: 17. 3nd Annual Carmen Ziolkowski Poetry Prize

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Contemplating the Cherry Tree

I wake at dawn easing into my robe and slippers. I slip outside heeding the call of her ineffable beauty. This morning miraculous in full blossom when just a week ago her tiny, tight dark buds hid behind just opening purple leaves. Now no wind, though grey clouds allude to rain. Quietly padding on the

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every day (a love letter from Lake Huron to us)

I am going to pour myself onto your shores dance in drips for your amusement glisten on pebble to catch your eye show you a treasure of broken things teach you persistence through smoothing rough edges remind you that constancy never has to look the same I am going to sit with you in the

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The Rain

All night the rain fell softly and slow, the sound on the roof, on the pond, on the fields falls on the memory, burning— but gentle the rain that quenches the night, that cleanses the ash in my mouth so that I wake to the wind in the cottonwood trees, the glittering silver-green leaves and

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Soothsayer’s Familiar (after Tarot’s ‘Mother of Pentacles’)

The doe nestles with her spotted fawn, her wise eyes stare out from the card, confident and composed, like a soothsayer’s familiar. More than tinctures and herbs, her knowing is everything earthly, grounded in Nature and the seasons. Tall grasses and cattails cloak her, bedded down while her little one rests up. Ears ever on

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a lotus blooms at dawn

  summer mornings dab the sun onto lapis sky peaks of pink lotus protrude from pond dimples stray paint drops suspended like floating fermata water molecules vaporize a silent migration forming mist, breath whisper— as if hearing the query a palm unfurls its digits inside squats a half-tadpole legs soggy, sensing it sees me and

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