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The Perception Prize:

Ellen Blickman; “Snow”

Honorable Mentions:

Frances Pearce, Richard Taylor


In this last of meeting places

We grope together

And avoid speech

gathered on this beach of the tumid river.

T.S. Eliot

This is an island in a blizzard

Where snow silences voices

Soundproofs the street

Where each flake is unique as fingerprints

But this snow is not snow

This is the snow

Of Auschwitz

Of Dachau

This is the snow that leaves chalk trails

On our cheeks where tears have been

Snow that will wash away

By the tears still to come

This is the where the sun disappears

Behind a tumid cloud of inky oil

Where steel bends and yaws

Where pavement cracks and concrete crumbles

This is where the river meets the shore

Where we cleave together against the storm

Where, in the silence, we say our prayers

Our voices lost to the wind, like September snow.

Judge’s Comment:

The poet gropes through the mess of language to speak the unspeakable. The focus on its theme allows for no distractions.

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