Rock River Poetry Contest 2003 Illinois winner

Rock River Poetry Contest 2003 Illinois winner


The Rock River Times presents the Illinois winner in the 2003 Rock River Poetry Contest, Allison Joseph of Carbondale.


I want to stitch a poem I can wear

as loosely as a faded summer dress

that’s fragile but still colorful, the best

that I can offer up, my shoulders bare

but warm beneath the sun, my skin aware

of languid August heat, but not oppressed

by humid reveries, the season’s stress

not stunning me until I cease to care.

But I can’t sew a garment out of words

until I know their textures inside out,

learn how to work their threads—the silky ones

that move like satin over limbs, assured

and sleek, the strident ones that clash and shout.

I’ll stitch them all with fingers, pen, and thumb.

—Allison Joseph

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