Clay Matthews
An Angel Gets Her Wings

Clay Matthews - An Angel Gets Her Wings

Contest - 2nd Place
Clay Matthews has published poetry in journals such as The American Poetry Review, Black Warrior Review, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. His most recent book, Pretty, Rooster (Cooper… Read more »
Roy Bentley
O, Kindergarten

Roy Bentley - O, Kindergarten

Contest - 3rd Place
Roy Bentley has received fellowships from the NEA, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Ohio Arts Council. Poems have appeared in The Southern Review, Shenandoah, Pleiades, Blackbird,… Read more »
Brett Foster
On the Numbness That Will Be Our Future

Brett Foster - On the Numbness That Will Be Our Future

Contest - 1st Place
Brett Foster is the author of two poetry collections, The Garbage Eater (Triquarterly Books/Northwestern University Press, 2011), and Fall Run Road, which was awarded Finishing Line Press's Open… Read more »

An Angel Gets Her Wings - 2nd Place

Clay Matthews

On television there’s an old movie about a ghost
that’s come to change a man’s life.

Next door the little girl howls
while her parents fight over a lost pipe.

The days are punctuated by street corners
and looking out windows,

the nights by deadbolts and Christmas lights.
Yesterday we had the Sweet Gum

tree in the front yard cut back,
leaving what we thought would survive.

To persist: a yellowed crack rock
in a sandwich bag, a fifth anniversary

party, a broken branch hanging down
still putting out a flower and leaves.

My daughter, two, flaps her arms
like wings and cries out: I can’t fly.

The dark sounds, she says, owls
in the night, a train in the distance;

she believes so deeply in the moon.
If you are good, the season will reward you

with ribbons and bows. If you are bad,
it’s all branches and blesséd stones.

Semis bounce down the… Read more »