Thanks to everyone who shared their love poems with us! We received a lot of entries, and we enjoyed reading them all. We’ll be contacting the winners by email today about their prizes.
Our winners are:
Winner: Allie Elwood, “Love Should Be”
Runner-Up: Donna B McKinney, “NAVIGATING HEART SHIFTS”
Runner-Up: Hannah Whiteoak, “Blue Jeans”
Read the winning poems below! And keep an eye out for our next contest.
Winner: “Love Should Be”
I always thought love should be lightning,
leaving beautiful scorched etches as it wound its way through someone.
I thought love should be a dancing flame,
that I’d have to pull my hand away from its intensity.
I thought love should be searched for,
a spinning light house lamp guiding in a wayward ship.
I thought love should be immediate,
a magnetic pull, the moon on the tide.
I thought this was the only way love should be.
But unannounced, love snuck in through an open window.
It borrowed a book from the library of my soul with no intention of returning it.
It burrowed within my chest, built a nest when my back was turned.
Instead of what it should be, it simply was.
It was an electric stove top languidly turning red.
It was an icy windshield, defrosting from the bottom up.
It didn’t burn or spark or ignite or erupt.
It was subtle and slow and soothing and sweet.
It was unlike anything, anyone had ever taught me that love should be.
Runner-Up: “NAVIGATING HEART SHIFTS”
Donna B McKinney
My 22-year-old self
slid seamlessly from “me” to “we”
on a sunny Saturday in May
in a ceremony brimming with “I do” promises
followed by endless platters of pastel-hued mints and tiny cucumber sandwiches
dotted across the church fellowship hall.
Swallowed by his wild, capacious heart
The weight of the “till death do us part” promise was just a feather on that day.
A 56-year-old me lurched from “we” back to “me”
with a simple swipe of the coroner’s signature
on a brittle cold January morning when the day hung shades of gray,
as if mourning the cleaving that had taken place in my world.
My heart crushed under the weight of that feather promise
“till death do us part”
I made life-times ago.
How does the heart navigate the shift from “me” to “we” to “me” again?
Enough for each sunrise.
Runner-Up: “Blue Jeans”
My lover is a tattered pair of blue jeans
long past weak at the knees
patched with fabric that doesn’t match.
My lover is a worn-out pair of blue jeans
too comfortable to throw out, I wear them every day
even though they embarrass me.
My lover is a faded pair of blue jeans.
Shops sell fresher denim, but none fit as well.
Who wants unfamiliar garments grasping their hips?
My lover is a fragile pair of blue jeans.
I try not to think about the day the repairs will fail
when all the world’s needles won’t bring them back.
I hold them tight in the dark wardrobe of our love
treasuring the long scar of the surgeon’s scalpel
the faded cross-stitches where the tubes went in.