Dr. Linda Veldheer Prize:

Winner:  Evelyn Berry

Love In the Year of the Tiger Balm

Our bodies learn to ache.

We sooth our bent-wrecked spines

With whatever might take

The shake from our fault lines.

 

With our fingers, we scrape

Menthol, camphor, extract

Of capsicum, landscape

the relief of our backs.

 

Give me, darling, that burn:

Your hands touch everywhere.

This is how love is learned,

With mint’s scent in our hair.

 

Not all, aged, falls apart.

No, not my heart, your heart.

Judge Comments: What a lovely, fun and touching poem of how despite time and aging love persists! The form fits the content, the end rhymes are unique, and the title, wonderful. Enjoyed the humor too.

Honorable Mentions:  Judith Reese