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Know Rhyme and Reason Contest Winner:

Debra Daniel

Honorable Mentions:

Lawrence Rhu, Letha French

The Gravity of a Colder Force

5,000 birds fell from the sky just before midnight New Year's Eve.


Wind shear, black ice, thunder-snow,

Rain quick-frozen in air too cold.


Their wingspans rimed slick, those Canada geese

cracked through the glaze. Flocks fell like sleet.


Their long-necked bodies, ragged and pricked,

lie fractured in the splintered thicket.


Sharpened pain hovers in broken pines,

where they fell, where they died.


A feathered mourning came with dawn.

We sing of old acquaintance gone.

Judge’s Comment:

I greatly admired the economy of this poem, how it used so little to convey so much. I loved the precise, sharp, and unforgiving imagery of the geese and the cold, and how moving the overall effect was.

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