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The Dr. Linda Veldheer Memorial Prize

Grace Pryzwara “Eulogy for My Parents”

Honorable Mentions:


Eulogy for My Parents

But not for bodies, not for souls set free,

but rather expectations: who they were

in childhood’s pure perspectives, once so sure,

now clearing in the eyes of older me.


Revealed is just how much there is to grieve—

tight tangled knots of history and loss,

the weight of every carried splintered cross,

the slipping grip on what it means to cleave—


it’s just too much. What more could I expect

from two imperfect souls who took a chance?

A lot apparently, but circumstance

has now dispelled that gleaming dream effect.


So, dead is that fictitious pair

who, flawless, fell in love and stayed that way.

And yet, with grief comes some relief to say,

approaching who’s in flesh left standing there,


It’s nice to meet you, really meet you, Dad.

and Hello, to every diamond face of Mom.

A funeral with no one to embalm,

but space to love the ones I’ve always had.

Judge’s Comment:

The winner of The Dr. Linda Veldheer Memorial Prize is "Eulogy for My Parents" which uses rhythm to forgive and see into our shared humanity.

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