Rhyme for No Reason Contest:

Winner:  Debra Conner

The Dying Season

That's what you called it:

November, the month you closed

your writing cabin, packed books and poems, stowed

your porch swing and Adirondack chair, lit

 

the fireplace in the main house

and waited for the pond to ice white,

for winter to appear like

an unwelcome guest, the uncle without

 

a good manners, a stray dog in the rain.

Your cough was merely

asthma, you said at first, your yearly

quota of allergies, a pain

 

but nothing serious.  Far away, I heard claims

made by your personal shaman, put faith

in your jokes and cheerful updates,

until my letters went unanswered, until the call came.

Judge Comments: While most of the entries went for humor, this one did not. And the narrative, the use of rhyme and meter and image all worked so well. The images are so effective -- that uncle without manners. But the rhyme scheme, with its tiny little delay and then closure (abba cddc etc) leads us so effectively toward that last slight delay, that final closure. This is a lovely poem.

Honorable Mentions:  Harold Oberman; Lawrence Rhu