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Summer 2017 Contest Winner: Brooke Harris


Brooke Harris is a poet who calls Lexington, Kentucky home. Born of New York City parents and raised in North Carolina and Kentucky, she combines urban impulses with rural appreciations. She received her MFA in Writing from Spalding University in 2012. Her work has been published in The Louisville Review and The Reed Review among others. In her spare time, Brooke enjoys teaching Irish dance and watercolor painting. And she’s never met a piece of pie she didn’t like.

Flying West

Blinding snow. The wheels
don’t touch the ground anymore,
they lurch with a mechanical grunt
to curl up to the plane’s belly,
long talons of an eagle.

Darkness – blue black
with white diagonal lines
of sleet cloak the sky.
Pollock painting splattered
on the plexi-glass window,
Rorschach inkblots smudged
in the clouds. Was that a moth
or a cat? A rabbit diving under
a fence? My chest thumps
with the immeasurable vastness sailing
two inches from my nose.

Through the clouds we climb
voiceless – floating on a blanket
of vapor. The sun’s golden chain
skims the sky, a beacon calling
us from winter.

The Silent

green puddles of paint drying on canvas
Sunday afternoons
the office on Christmas Day
a lake of antifreeze under your car
your house the second before you rattle the key in the door
a mouth before it bites
steaming plates of macaroni and cheese
cold glasses of milk
basements when you go down alone to get
the warm laundry from the dryer
a viewing of your closet
sweaters neatly stacked by color
the satisfaction of an empty hamper

first purple crocus of Spring
pollen on your windshield
death of an ant
hammocks swinging in the breeze
stagnant pond full of algae
imprints of fallen leaves
The Northern Lights
snow falling on firs
the ash left from a bon fire
black limbs scorched
a litter of pine cones
an avalanche finished


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