Upon Submitting to the Sue Boynton Poetry Contest

But the real poem was the bike ride over
to hand-deliver the poem for the contest
the bike ride, along the bike path, along
the water’s edge, the snowy mountains to the north,
the island across the Bay, the smiling of the stranger,
the slow plod of the mother walking up Taylor Street,
her newborn’s silent gaze…the wind and the sun,
the plum blossoms, the crunch of gravel,
the fire in my thighs, the breath in and out,
the flight of the crow, the first day of spring…
and not only that–but the black earth, and
the muck, and the ragged wounds of the heart.
All of it, I tell you–not just the pretty parts.
And the detours too–like when I stopped
to buy the piece of chocolate salted caramel cake,
and licked the fork clean.
The real poem not these scribbles
on paper that will burn, memories that will fade.
The real poem continually unfolding, off the page.
The real poem: the journey, the winding, love-struck,
journey, filled always with blessings,
and with wonders, and with sorrows.

-Seth Friedman


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