Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts

Poetry Contest Winners :: Ninth Contest :: Third Place Winner


by Melanie Dietzel

I come to sort artifacts,
as if an archeologist
deciding what is refuse,
what must be preserved.
Space shifting,
scattered sweepings,
habitation given up
to abandonment.

The room exhales
a heavy breath,
Patchouli oppressed
by ripened sweat socks.
Scarred walls,
saturated in Dylan lyrics,
stand silent now.

Gone, the ponderous oak chest
unearthed at flea market.
Gone, too, the bed, its mattress
imprinted by transmutable form.
Both, borne away
in a friend's rusted van.

I pick my way through what remains,
crumpled Oreo wrappers,
scattered T-shirts,
scum-coated dishes.
I uncover a disjointed
G. I. Joe trooper,
old soldier deserted
on broadloom battlefield.
Stapled, center-folded beauties,
once hidden, now forgotten,
languish on closet floor.

Waiting in the corner,
a block and board bookcase
retains its eclectic collection,
scraps of forest-clad! camp-outs,
remnants of rafted rivers.
A trilobite, trapped by mud,
buried beneath generations
of sediment, lodges immutably
in a rock resurrected
from a creek bed.

Shells, snail, clam, turtle,
vacated long before discovery,
rest beneath a coating of dust.
Exoskeletons of cicadas perch,
slightly cockeyed,
beside parchment-fine
snake skin, and here,
a chrysalis still clings
to a desiccated twig.
The fragile filaments
that embraced metamorphosis
are ripped apart,
its delicate casing
breached by a creature
destined to fly.

Second Place Winner
Blue Mountain Arts