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  • Poems of the Road Contest Winners

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    So, without further ado, here are the Esurance Poems of the Road winners. Congratulations to you all!

    First place

    My Favorite Roads, Khristian Kay

    My Favorite Roads are ashen a chalky white of patched and cracked arthritic asphalt aged and bleached there is no centerline no paint no makeup just raw flesh under a midday sun no defined lines limiting access but rather following the collective observable rules of good conduct and neighborly jurisprudence specifically for the
    polite travelers the vagabonds trespassing moments
    these are not the shiny black roads the glistening star lights
    on a sable curtain these are lifelines like varicose veins warped
    and stoic and telling the Braille staccato of farm implements
    and tractors of horses and bikes and children skipping couples walking over the sticky tar patches plastered like gum or pine sap in the crease of wounded trees these roads tell stories experienced and weathered of time and life of legacy and inheritance of
    history whispered through the wind

    Second place

    Western Equinox, Lara Wilber

    The road’s gray cradle rocks
    summer to sleep with the dusty hum of electricity
    and dreams of cowboys on black horses.

    At its most beautiful, the sun spends less time here –
    Sneaking off with night to hold hands
    at the overgrown drive-in, where the speakers hang
    from lonely aluminum outposts in the sagebrush.

    The hillsides are dappled with goldenrod, ochre –
    inkwells for some radical composition of marigolds,
    aspen, and flame. Riots of yellow birds.

    This last defiant display like the protests
    of a child at bedtime. I’m not tired yet…
    I’m not tired. Somewhere in the distance reclines
    A boy that turned into a blue mountain while he slept.

    Third place

    The Road Home, Joe Carvalko

    At nineteen, rebellious, blackboard jungle funk, joy
    rheostat — zero. Dig-it Daddio? Cool gloom,
    smog in the noggin, stumbling through soda-jerk jobs,
    joined the Army. One last time, me and my Chevy,
    Penelope, blue ’52, skirts, whitewalls,
    ’47 Caddy V-8, two glasspacks, cruised
    the drag, passed the five and dime, factories, passed
    the spent on Railroad Ave., the rich on Country Club
    Road, landmarks memorized so like Odysseus,
    I could return to the familiar and old, but
    after “Nam” it took fifty years to come back by
    then it’d vanished in a wake of pot-holes, fifty
    gallon drums, fast food wrappers, my Penelope
    stripped bare, waving Old Glory, welcoming me home.

    Thanks to all our poets

    A big thanks to everyone who shared a poem with us. Your words made us laugh, reflect, and ponder … and certainly made it difficult to choose just 3 winners. We hope you’ll all continue to hoist those mighty pens and, as William Wordsworth once said, “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”

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