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Adult: First Place Winner

On the Porch

Listening
to sirens and the surf of traffic--
No one told us
the air could be this still
that you could hear the spaces
between bird cries
or the soft flapping
of leaves in the Gingko.
No one told us
that air ferns whisper
secrets even when no one
is there to hear.
If you sit still long enough
you can hear night approaching--
a lonesome moon
in a cold black bowl
where billions of stars live and die
with or without us.
No one told us time
could grind down
like a flattened stone
that whole days could drop
from the almanacs
and the aqueducts fill with tears.
In this new infected silence
I’m listening hard
for yesterday’s band practice
that once drifted over the hydrangeas
for the street games of children--
but I think I hear coyotes
howling on the Golden Gate Bridge.
And now I hear the chop chop
of the crime copter lopping
circles around us from another
high speed chase in the neighborhood.
And laid over it all
the burbling coo of a morning dove
soothing its mate in the shadows
filled with shards of a shattered egg.

--Dixie S., Adult