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The Dr. Linda Veldheer Memorial Prize

Harold Oberman

Walking Tour of Charleston

Walking last week through rain-soaked city streets,

A month’s heat doused pastel into blue warm

Embers of Rainbow Row by torrential sheets,

I thought nothing of the cold science of storms,

Nothing of how the earth’s rotation forces

Clouds into logical circles that stew

In tropical waters like wild horses

Corralled and reined and tamed.    I thought of you.


It came in a flood, not calculated verse

Constrained by convention and sonnet forms,

But rather like a bolting carriage horse

Unbridled and galloping free.    Let’s wander warm


Alleys like tourists happily lost.    We need

No map.    Stumble along, see where it leads.

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