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The John Edward Johnson Prize Winner:

Ellen Blickman

Honorable Mentions:

Laurel Blossom, Grace Claire Przywara

Judge’s Comment:

: I could smell and taste this poem, but I could also see the quiet spiritual dimension, and I loved the weaving of the material and immaterial in such a short poem.

The Mystery of Pomegranates

The knife slips into the taut skin

of the pomegranate,

releasing its ruby pearls

onto the cutting board,

an old wood plank my Nana used for

making Charoset for Passover.


The fragrant cinnamon still rises

from its worn surface with each thunk

of the blade.


My daughter watches from a safe distance,

eyes wide with the mystery of the inner world

of pomegranates that spill their sweetness

like tears of joy.

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