fiction, poetry & more

Honorable Mention
$25 Award


by David Butler

                         i.m. my mother

Some days after the diagnosis

set time, a death-watch beetle,

ticking, you set out undaunted

for the park. Your time of year –

air cold as water, the trees

touched with fleeting majesty.

As we rounded a beech copse,

a puckish wind stirred up and,

like Dante’s fugitives, drove all

about a streaming leaf storm,

shoal-dense and endless, brass

after brass, chattering, sheering

in great murmurations, showing 

the raw grandeur in letting go.

David Butler is the author of three poetry collections: Via Crucis (Doghouse, 2011); All the Barbaric Glass (Doire Press, 2017); and Liffey Sequence (Doire Press, 2021). His second short story collection, Fugitive, is forthcoming from Arlen House.

August 2021