Earlier this fall, City Pulse and East Lansing’s (SCENE) Metrospace teamed up to sponsor a poetry contest. It was open to the public, and the poems were allowed to reflect any theme. 

The winner, Carrie Preston of Brookline, Mass., was announced at a reading on Nov. 28 at (SCENE). Preston, a former MSU student who grew up in Okemos, is plugged into the local poetry scene.

Having given you so little (draft #12)

tonight I want to give you 

all the birches of my childhood,

their sadness.

Take them 

as a half moon droops low

like an eyelid 

brushed with silver shadow.

Take them

as an apology

for my sharpness.

You cannot see your gifts: 

the shavings of time 

you carve for me,

as easily as you draw curls

with scissors along a ribbon 

to decorate a present

so I can finish one more thing 

before we go;

the way your wood-rough hands

capable of carrying anything, softened, gathered up my wisps of hair

with a crescent shaped barrette;

the slivers of me you’ve always known,

never demanding I be full.

Having given you so little

I want to hold you

the way the birch bark holds its branch

coiling a little at the edges.

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