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Poetry Winners

To Ward Off Loss

Poetry - Third Place

By Shelley Puhak | Posted 10/20/1999

Listen, carefully. I know this, the

Eastern European in me. A ritual.

Place an object in your pocket and

force yourself into forgetting.

Develop a panic—where? where? where could it be?

You will be inordinately pleased by your

rediscovery of the thing.

This will stave off the losing of tokens, mementos, keys.

As for the losing of people, kittens, years,

the formula is not yet perfected.

For luck, imagine all you love

backing out the door, alongside the road,

twisted and still.

The secret is to disarm surprise,

disarm the ambulance, towtruck, silences, wrinkles,

and the slamming of doors.

What is purposefully misplaced daily

will not stun a soft heart

if it should be snatched away.

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Poetry Winners archives

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And the winners are... (12/2/2009)
City Paper's 11th annual Fiction and 10th annual Poetry Contest

An Airline Ticket to Romantic Places (12/2/2009)
First Place

What Was Janie Looking At? (12/2/2009)
Second Place

More from Shelley Puhak

Stones in the Stomach (9/27/2000)
Fiction - Second Place

Retreat Into Blue (3/22/2000)
A cat's whiskers are designedto be as wide as her haunches.

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