PRINCEMERE POETRY PRIZE

Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry. 
- W.B. Yeats

2016 PRINCEMERE POETRY PRIZE

Serena Howe

 

After a Certain Age Everyone Wears the Face They Deserve


Consider: in a teaspoon of my mother’s
Blood cells you may count a hundred of my own.
I heard this on the radio, and though
It seems too lovely to be true, yet who
Am I to contradict? I knew before
That the divide between our lives
Is tenuous indeed—but I never guessed
That my anterior zygotic self still teems
Inside of her in myriads of stem cells,
A reciprocating gift she gave to me.
I ask, how beautiful is it to bear
From this body of death? I hollowed her,
And heal her, and she still bears me
Everywhere, a natural kind of grace—and
If, as physics will confirm, once bodies
Interact they always stay entangled,
Then my conception fated us to interfere.
Only this morning she surprised me in the mirror.


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Serena Howe of Dallas, Texas, has won the 2016 Princemere Poetry Prize for her poem "After a Certain Age Everyone Wears the Face They Deserve." She has been awarded $500.

Runners-up are Karen Mandell, Shelby Tuthill, and Sarah Wolbach.

Honorable mentions are Gene Fendt, Amos Hunt, Michal Leibowitz, and Yael Massen.

Finalists are Allison Emily Lee, Athena Lathos, Kerry Rawlinson, and Bernadette Ward.

The editors were honored to have read so many excellent poems. Thank you to all who submitted.


 

 

Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry. 
- W.B. Yeats