First Place | Poetry Writing Contest XLVIII
48TH NEW MILLENNIUM AWARD FOR POETRY
Hannah Perrin King of Cool, California for "Addendum"
King will receive $1,000, an award plaque to mark the success, and publication both online and in print.
Hannah Perrin King
The December I was ready to die
I took myself home to my parents’ ranch.
I’d meant to say something about
couldn’t & wanted to & needed but
I couldn’t do that either & perhaps
neither could they. So instead,
that December, my parents & I,
in a pulse of blonde hills, fastened
my mother’s iPhone to a fence post
in view of a heifer’s carcass. Johnny’d
shot her, after she’d prolapsed, out of
pity, then left the world of her
splayed above the clay & ice. We set
the camera’s mode to time-lapse & later,
in the kitchen, watched the comings,
goings: foxes, a bobcat, vultures—
& once, a bald eagle easing down
from the blue brutal. For a week,
a soft blur orbited the heifer.
For a week, it offered up
its slack bellies, warding off death
by consuming it. When the heifer left,
she left most of her behind. And so
it goes. About it, I knew then
as much as I do now, which isn’t
a lot, only that instead of going,
I stayed. On its string of starlight,
the moon rose, a stomach of stone.
In the yard, the coyotes yipped
till it sunk. Again, again.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hannah Perrin King’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Narrative Magazine, The Adroit Journal, The Missouri Review, North American Review, THRUSH Poetry Journal and Best New Poets, among others. She lives in rural California and is the deputy poetry editor at Alaska Quarterly Review.
Addendum © 2019 Hannah Perrin King