Prize Poetry

Pongo Poetry Prize - March 2015

Congratulations, winners! We are honored to share the winning poem (below), as well as the  three great poems which received Honorable Mention.

 

Did Any of Them Ever Hear?
by a young woman, age 18

Did any of them ever hear?
Did they hear the screams from the girl thrown against the porcelain sink?
Did they see her run down the stairs,
barefoot and dancing around the puddles
in nothing but a tank top and jeans?
the ones without rips in the knees, I think…
Did they hear her scream at windowpanes
or beat her heel against the door frame?

Well, they must have seen her when the Law came.
The vase smashed across the front porch,
the metal screen whinnying in the cool Washington breeze
like a dehydrated horse
the yells for hair to be released
the harsh slap of those wicked palms
the forced stomping of the pair of aggravated feet.

Did they see?
Did they see her leave in cuffs
until authority called the bluffs?
See her returned to the steps,
march up like a soldier and tell them it was just ‘family stuff’
and second guess when they left?
Do they know she tried to fight
or that the secrets kept
ruined her life?
Do they know she’s even gone,
that no one cared to help the broken one
until she began to lose control?
Until the yells became bellows
and she shook when she needed to hit?

But they never have.
They never did believe the broken kid.

Do they know she told the truth
and it never was the same?
That the situation solved nothing
and she nearly went insane.
That they said if she was better,
if she would just keep secrets,
then she wouldn’t be to blame.
I know neighbors saw me
but I was just another damaged face
without a solid name.

[Author Statement: "I have been writing with Pongo now for about six years if I remember correctly. I write not only as a coping skill or a way of healing. But also because it is my way of communication. I'm not the biggest social person. But Pongo has helped me come out of my shell a little more. With my writing and in general. I am appreciative that there is something like this around. Because without them I would not have a lot of the things that I do now. And I don't think I would have made it this far without writing."]

Honorable Mention, March 2015
Anger Poem, #1
Running
Please Don’t

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