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85th Weekly Poetry Contest winner: A View of Concrete Ribbons

by Sally Clark

I remember when I was young
and driving thirty miles in sixty minutes
of rush hour traffic twice a day so
I could work for eight hours two cities
away from my children in a high-rise
office that afforded a view of concrete ribbons
screaming in every direction with
people who knew my name, but that's
all and climate control that kept everything
uniform in every season;

I used to think about my grandparents
tucked away in the piney woods in
their small, wooden house with a
screened-in porch for summer sleeping
and their tiny kitchen with a green Formica
table top and a clear plastic cover over
the floral sofa so you could see the bouquets underneath;
with a vegetable garden and a chicken coop
and a trout pond and an old pick up truck
the oil company gave my grandfather
to drive to check their wells, twice a day,
his job,

and them waking up together and working
alongside, him hoeing the garden while
she did the laundry and sitting down for lunch
together, every day, bowing their heads to
say thanks for the sweet corn and the left-over
fried chicken and the couppons for paper towels
in the newspaper that day and how those
vinyl chairs clung to your flesh and never wanted
to let your legs
go anywhere else.

previously published in The Peace Within You: Calming Thoughts to Help You Slow Down, Let Go, and Discover Your Inner Joy, 2013, Blue Mountain Arts

See all the entrants to 85th Weekly Poetry Contest