Inspired by the Photo


Poets Collective conducted a contest and found each of the top picks equally impressive in capturing the spirit of this memorable photo. See if you agree.


In a Minor Key | 1973 | Snapshot


In  a Minor Key

She drove south from the city,
following the dirty river.

She stopped to wander the path
walking through the yellow butterweed,
occasionally stepping around
old beer cans and food wrappers.

The pollen stung her eyes a little,
but bright trills of birdsong stirred the breeze.
Somehow that made it better.

The meadow turned to forest,
and she breathed in the dappled shade of sycamores,
although the rocky ground stung her feet a little.

She plunged straight down the bank
stepping into cold water,
and watched the ripples disperse
as the sun warmed her face again.

Then, she strummed a few chords
and fiddled with the E string.
She played in a minor key.
The sun grew low, and she hummed a little,
but she didn’t sing.

The feeling of the currents moving on
past her soggy, old sandals,
and the gleam of blue off a dragonfly’s wing,
reminded her she wasn’t a girl anymore,
but she carefully put down her instrument
and skipped rocks past sunset


© 2016, Geneva Henthorne


When we were twenty-five and twenty-one,
the summer seemed to last a single day
because the black and white upsetting sun
had bled too bright. We watched it burn away.

She played a song— I never learned the name—
and afterwards, I showed her where I stood,
“I love you and I do not need the same.”
“I want to love you, if I only could.”

She left for Nashville, tried to make it big,
but stardom bartered her for every breath.
When pills and liquor fill the grave you dig,
the Southern bells will ring your destined death.

One rainy night, they held her simple wake,
a paltry group that hardly looked the part.
I said a word about our August lake
where at the bottom lies my sunken heart.

Now buried underneath her mother’s tree
and holding her guitar against her chest,
she wears a sundress for eternity
as I remember her when she was best.


© Kaleb Pier, 2016



You changed your name again
shed a ring for a stone –
a vow for a vowel.

Skimmed the surface
counted splashes –
each a watercolor affair.

Collected debt without expression
eventually sued by default –
wrinkle lines, typical a.p.r.

A long throw from the seventies
when you posed a penny thought –
for my camera’s click.

© James Anthony, 2016

(a.p.r. annual percentage rate)