Second Place Winner - Three Acorns
by Russell Rowland

Once you're home in Boston, I will shake
from the bedroom basket crumpled tissue
we used to wipe each other and the sheets,

damp after our Olympic All-Night Love.
Trash remains inscrutable--most anyone
would conclude it was discarded by a guy

with a head cold. There is not, every time,
an objective correlative to memory. Why
that chuckle, as he takes the garbage out?

Because he is better now? But who at all
wants convalescence, after nights like that?
The flesh takes such joy for immortality.

We know an old lady in Elder Care: as grey,
bent, and parchment-skinned as any there.
Her September under the oak was ages ago.

Voices mingled, alto and baritone; the glow
of nakedness in sunlight; a rush, a thrust.
soon body slipped from body, as if asleep.

How can three acorns in her linen drawer
help Eleanor live twice? When she is gone,
an aide will toss them, thinking it was mice.

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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