2021 Wisconsin Sijo Competition
Seeker, consider the frog. The little, green yogi sits for hours,
motionless, unblinking, present, tongue ready to catch a fly.
Be like him. Acquire patience. Then feel free to spit out the fly.
sijo reading by Thomas Singleton
Your mind is a labyrinth which I fail to make my way through.
Down hallways and stairwells deep, I come up short, meet your dead ends.
Do you know how much I long for whispers and the wilderness?
Sijo reading by Winnie Chan
Death in a Terrible Year
My mama’s hands curl’d up in the days before she died,
Curl’d into fists to pummel the injustice of this savage world;
She went silent, but her hands show’d us she kept on fighting.
I called on the smallest student, the one hiding in the back.
“I have nothing,” she said. She cradled her head in her hands.
I didn’t respond; instead, waited; willed her to fill the silence.
sijo reading by Elizabeth Jorgensen
She wakes up. One hour till school, she holds her pee. Makeup comes first.
Concealer hides dark circles, corrects color, and looks natural.
Peachy tones cover purples, blacks and blues; bruises from mom.
Waiting For The Call
As the sun began to set, the sky turned many shades of orange.
We visit with my grandma as she silently waits for the phone.
We say our prayers and goodbyes. The phone rings. He is gone.
I hurry to the couch; he awaits his precious grandchild.
I plop by his side. Beaming, I ask, “How are you, great grandpa?”
He glares back, trying to smile, and responds, “Who are you, dear?”
Five years old, her beaming smile brightens the world. My cousin.
Together we laugh, dance, sing, and play as if nothing matters.
Dwarfism - scary in this judgmental world, I will protect her.
I lost someone close to me,
someone I knew really well.
I saw old photos; she was happy.
What happened to her?
I look in the mirror;
What happened to the old me?
I may have many big dreams, as many as you could think of.
I want to be a kid's oncologist to help with cancer,
But I still have a long time think because I am only ten.
More Than A Bird
Perched in the tree above. Silky, shiny feathers. A diamond of the animal world.
Noisy yet calm. A speck in the sky yet a treasure to the eye.
Free above not meant for a cage. Wings stretched out, then it flies away.
My Mom's Perfume
The smell a memory so sweet, my mom's perfume, the perfect day
Clear skies, a lullaby, like a big hug in the arms of my mom
With age, the scent fades away, one whiff of the smell brings me back...