Friday, April 22, 2016

January Challenge Winner



After reading the poems submitted after the deadline for the January Poetry Challenge was extended and rereading the earlier submissions, Andrea Witzke Slot selected a winner for the January Poetry Challenge. She said that the winning poem “tackles a difficult subject while moving a specific conceit from the poem “Regret” into a new work very much the poet’s own.”

Here is the poem she selected:


“It is hard to hear when I am turning, turning…”
                   Andrea Witzke Slot

I am turning, turning with the year, turning
into the empty fields crusted with snow,
becoming the man in the photo with black eyes
and bewildered smile turning his face to glass.
There is nothing I understand, not the waves
of memory washing over me or the silent dogs
lying on scattered leaves. I am turning back
to you, shot dead on a rural road in Wisconsin,
ten miles north of Tony, the day after your dogs
were poisoned and you went looking for somewhere
to bury your rage. At your funeral in a town near
Milwaukee, a hundred bikers turned round
your coffin, poured beer and bourbon on your grave.
Four in the afternoon, and already the sun
beginning to sink behind a line of black trees.
Your mother was broken, your father refused to cry.
He turned a fist into his palm again and again, gray
lines of his brows bent in the scowl that for the next
thirty years turned his face to stone. I have skimmed
above the ice of your murder, turning, turning
from your young features chiseled in frost on my
windowpane, recalling how I watched your sister fold
her arms and fly inside herself, turning back to her cocoon.

~ Steve Klepetar

Steve Klepetar retains copyright on this poem.

Bio: Steve Klepetar’s work has appeared worldwide, in such journals as Boston Literary Magazine, Deep Water, Expound, The Muse: India, Red River Review, Snakeskin, Voices Israel, Ygdrasil, and many others.  Several of his poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize (including three in 2015). Recent collections include My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto (Flutter Press) and Return of the Bride of Frankenstein (Kind of a Hurricane Press). His new chapbook, The Li Bo Poems, is forthcoming from Flutter Press.

To review the January Challenge, go to

©  Wilda Morris