Admin Challenge Winner Maribeth Parot-Juraska 7/15/2018

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On Breast of Earth

by Maribeth Parot-Juraska


On breast of earth,

our feet all touch, while beyond,


Tappity-tappity-tappity, thump! of baby’s rump, first few steps, momma beyond reach.

Tiptoe ballerina, pliéing before cyclops eye in Gershwin.

Clappity-clap of jockeys, racing with mint julip leaves.

Shuffle-clump, shuffle-clump, old men with walkers,

buttocks peeking between blue clover print, fabric slits of hospital gowns.

Silent, of the policeman, before kicking closed door with his leg.

Rustle-pause, rustle-pause, one-breasted mothers near swinging doors of chemo wards.

Clip-clop of workers on assembly lines, faster when it’s Friday, making

weightless high top sneakers, airborne blurs, while LeBron dunks;

carbon composite poles bending like drinking straws, shoe spikes sole-side-up,

vaulters arch toward clouds, smirking at gravity,

that astronauts frosted with rocket juice on stars, until


gravity smirks back.


Falling hush of daffodil petals,

husked in unopened buds,

bending blades of greening grass, arching away from clouds,

as baby sprints, arms like scarecrows, from momma,

as ballerina, horse legs twist like pipe cleaners, snap, break,

as grandfather hopes for memory of tickling beard to endure,

as policeman’s taser misfires, flickers backwards, like whiskers piercing skin,

as laid-off workers pray, lit votive candles flickering, for just one factory to call,

as heroes’ photos line walls slated soon for wrecking balls,

as vaulter plunges, clouds of sky pressing him like fists, deeper into mats,

as robots rub stones, sticks, tugging on gravity’s shirttails, fulcrum insipidly tipping,


while here, we tilt, first so imperceptibly,

sense shift as movement of unseen ticks, mere minutes, on a wind-up clock,

unprepared for ushering Unknown,

beyond our reach, towering in our contrived stillness,

expiring torch of fire, clutched in our fists.

expiring torch of fire, clutched in our fists.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Desdi says:

    This is some very odd versification . . .


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