I haven’t written a lot of new poems lately, choosing to concentrating instead on submitting poems within my book manuscript that have yet to find a home. So when I read on Blue Sky that the ASP Bulletin — a publication of Alan Squire Publishing — was holding its inaugural poetry contest, I thought, why not try my luck? I’m so glad I did!
My poem, “The Trees in Dealey Plaza Seemed Distressed,” won third place in the contest, which meant not just the wonderful recognition (and soon-to-be publication) but also a care package from Alan Squire Publishing consisting of a card, four books from the press — and even a check!
This poem is anchored in a memory I have of my father picking me up from school when I was little on the day President Kennedy was shot and killed. This memory is bittersweet, but also one I recognize as precious, in the way something happens that changes your life and perhaps even in some ways defines you going forward, but it’s not because of any one thing. There was, I suppose, an ending of a certain innocence. There was seeing my father cry for the first time, and the feeling of being confused and upset and disturbed for reasons I didn’t yet understand. I’ll add the link when the publication drops in November, but in the meantime I’m savoring the unexpected honor and the gratification I feel at having placed one of the last remaining unpublished poems in my manuscript. I call that a win.