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Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Flash Fiction Challenge - Week Three Winner

It's official! It was a very close race this week. All the poems were very good. I'm very happy to announce that the winner of this week's flash fiction challenge is Diane Nelson for her lovely poem The River. Congratulations Diane. Make sure you stop by the main AOS site and check Diane out on the Flash Fiction Winner's page.

The River

The oysters lay over there
I’d point to the spot
Silly, for it moves and wavers
Like a bubble, its surface indistinct
But he knew where I meant
Eyes filmy, greasy with yellow stains
Illness does that to a man
Makes him hesitate, then strong
With no fear to offend or to appease
So we sat on the stony shore
The River Miles in full retreat
Tidal in this section
Brackish when low
Alit with candles when high
And in the sun canted low
Through trees, dense, leafed
The light played hide and seek
As we clamored over rocks and dead things
That fed our prey
Pearlescent grey and knubby sharp, ridged
And sealed against the world
A vault with treasures to savor
In slick sliding succulence
And the hit of sharp, a bludgeoning
On the back of the throat, horseradish
Fresh, gagging with fulsomeness
Through the nose, a snort, a giggle and tears
To wipe away with slimy salt that stings.
He’d offer ‘the rag’ tucked away
‘Disgusting’ I’d quiver and dodge the dab
Delicate til he’d mash the hideous cloth
On chubby cheeks and I’d ‘eeeuw’ and wince
And laugh at his dismay.

There lays a bend, much like the man
Where time and tide wears thin
And the land whispers ‘nay’
And sends her bounty off to stray
Onto gracious pliant shores.
He is like that, willow strong, yet
The thin I found and cherished
For it bound us once again
Though this bit has left him frail
Abandoned in the now and never
So I share the tastes and feel
Of warm waters running deep
And swift as does my time
And his swell and recede
On ordered beats.

I take his hand
He grins that grin
We pull and push and fling
Bare toes onto the sacred bed
And pluck and pry and prise
The living things within.
I shush them free of sand and grit
And raise my crate on high
He sweeps a bow of courtliness
And steals away my prize
And we hobble squealing
Mincing on stony cobbled shore
To fall once more at river’s edge.
His eyes alight, he knows me not
And so I shed a tear
He reaches for ‘the rag’
And I pretend my fear
And cringe and moan
As precious dabs do sear
Taut flesh and fragile bone.
A finger trails a muddy path
As o’er the night steals near
And the River Miles rushes past
A whisper to my ear.

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