The Best Poem

Michelle Kane's A Handful of Jokers

Waxy suits
of royal families
lie curled in the corner.
I hold each clumsy crescent
like a razorblade
between my fingers.
My thumb grazes
the tattered corners
weakened by careless hands.
The Queen of Hearts wavers.
Another house surrenders.
Human walls
upset by quivering hands.

Lost
in the fitful passion
of a child,
I bury each tear
in questioning palms
as my hair falls into pigtails
around my awkward hands.
Fists clench in frustration
over another loss
in a game without rules.

I return again
to untouched ashes,
scattered cards
extinguished by time,
and remember a forgotten heat.
I touch the ruins
and find them cold.

I will build again.

 

Prizes:

George S. Diamond Prizes
Beck Shakespeare Prize

English Prize
The Erskine Prize
Zinzendorf Prize
Beck Oratorial Prizes