Saturday, June 29, 2013

June 2013 Winner - Gender Role Poem

The winning poem for the challenge on learning gender roles was written by Pamela Larson, a poet who won second place in the May challenge for fairy tale poems. Here is her poem:

Boys Will Be Boys

Alone in my room playing school with faceless students
Mother scolds me out the door into the sun.
I go to the garage and set up a shoe store
we sell sandals made from a leaf and a stick.
When business is slow I tinker with my bicycle
changing the parts around with a wrench.

When forced to be social I liked
quiet, curious, but impersonal boys.
You could count on them not to ask anything
so you never had to tell anything.
We would listen to an album
and I would never be asked
my favorite song
or color
or my favorite anything.
Boys read books without sharing deep thoughts
instead entertaining with quoted
character impersonations
and improvised plot twists.
Most everything was measured
on surface detail.

Years later I sit at a table
on Wednesday Board Game Night
me and three guys
ready to compete
for European victory points
and the Best Strategy Skills title.
I laugh when I find out
they’ve played together for three years
not one of them knowing
what the other does for a living.
I have not escaped being a girl.

~Pamela Larson

Pamela Larson has been published in The Daily Herald, Karitos Journal, CRAM/JOMP Poetry Series and on and She has won awards from Highland Park Poetry and the Illinois State Poetry Society. You can find her artwork on the cover of A Midnight Snack published by Poetic License, Inc., as well as a cinepoem (youTube link) on the homepage. Pamela retains copyright on the poem published here.

Thank you to Sandy Stark for judging the poems this month. Watch for a new challenge coming on July 1.

Poetry Workshops and Groups

If you are looking for help in improving your poetry, check the workshop announcement posted here on May 28.

If you live in Illinois, consider joining the Illinois State Poetry Society ( and/or Poets and Patrons of Chicago ( If you live in Illinois but in an area without an ISPS chapter, contact the society (using contact information on the website) about helping form a new chapter.

There are wonderful poetry societies in many other states. See the website of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies ( for links to 28 state societies. If you live in Wisconsin, check out the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets (

© Wilda Morris