April Poetry Month Contest Winners

First Place:

Preserve Us

By Pat Roth

The broken fridge, the broken husband 

There, there they stood in solemn silence 

Their future slowly dwindling away.

The couch had become his new sanctuary 

As she looks on she begins to wonder.

Wonder what would happen to her, to him? 

Would he ever leave that couch again?

The TV runs as rapidly and slowly as her thoughts

That eventual strain of white noise increasingly grows.

Communication lacks, worries start to fester 

Has he given up? Has he quit?

It's seems to be he has fought the good fight but has lost 

One day, everything is normal

And the next it is broken

Just like the fridge that lies in the kitchen. 

Memories of her past come up

Of her parents that are no longer. 

The pork chop sits alone and sizzles 

There they stand in solemn silence 

Looking into the still water

From the broken fridge.

Second Place:

The Cherry Tree Whistles Strong

By Charles Ba Oumar

All is snow and uniform on campus,

Silent as death, dead as silence.  

And she knows the frozen silence is

guilty of a thousand crimes. 

Yet, drowning in the boundless white ocean, a cherry tree whistles strong;

Leafless and strong, hopeless but strong,

With the heart and fervor of broken chains. 


Time is ever slower than the drifting continents,

And Spring a sluggish procrastinator. 

That’s the politics of nature, we know,

but when will I graduate?

She asks, bold. When Spring comes, shy. Maybe on a flickering Friday. And God willing, not so cold as now! 


If Friday starts with an f, that f stands for “forever”

Forever must go on the passing of the torch — Achilles of the Silent Season! 

Even with the binding hush that banishes the thrush, she dares. 

Because the cherry tree still whistles Marley’s airs in its iced prison;

Leafless and strong, hopeless but strong;

That’s an untamed chorus, the noise of broken chains. 


When the May flowers blossom, She finally understands,

Truth so full and evident like the White Mountains. 

It lays uncovered in the confident white of the petals,

It sits cemented amongst the bold filaments;

The good news of the garden, “That you too, shall be free

Upon a sacred graduation, and the music of the tree.”


Third Place:

Go Back

By Kelly Matthews

I'm away from home now, and I imagine what my house is doing.  

I picture a certain wall.  

It is light green like the soft patches that stand out in a camouflage jacket. 

Against the wall sits a piano, with paint chipping, and wood breaking, making it’s bare spots slowly grow bigger day by day. 

As I imagine, my brother sits at the piano, though he hasn't in quiet some time. 

He sits facing the daunting wall for hours. 

He gives away half of a summer day to press the keys that won't stop sticking. 


Above the piano, on top of the green paint in deep black cursive letters the wall reads, 

“Music is love in search of a word.” 

When we first met the wall, we laughed at it. 

What Mozart wanna be put that there? We wondered. 

Perhaps some hot chocolate family who’d built our house had the words inscribed, 

In hopes their children would be inspired to touch the piano. 

 in hopes there children would turn out perfect. 

Surrounded by cute quotes and forbidden to swear.


If that's the case we know that the wall wasn't meant for our eyes. 

Yet my dad never painted over it, 

He never told my brother to play.


But still, my brother sits, staring at it for hours.  

I lay on the fraying carpet behind him. 

Arms open to the ceiling above me, my head tilted back onto the floor, my hearts beating, and 

my eyes are open, I see blobs of color each time I blink. 


I'm Listening to my brother press the keys for hours, 

We both stare at the letters 

For hours and hours.