1st Place | “Blue Line”

1st Place
“Blue Line”
Matthew Francis Andersen
Forest Park, Illinois

I can’t remember the month of December
But I know your favorite song
And the charcoal scarf wrapped around your neck
That you wore all season long
I can’t remember the sound of your voice
But I remember your laugh like I remember the rain
And the potholes thumping and the manholes snapping
Like the rhythm of the Blue Line train

I can recall all the pages you read me
In the back of my brother’s car
We shared cigarettes and your eyes were as tired
As the paint on the passing barns
Crossing the river would only deliver
A worn out verse from a worn out name
But I listened and stared and pretended I cared
‘Neath the pop of the roof in the rain

Somewhere ‘tween the state line and shorelines of jackpines
The prairies just ran out of grass
The trumpets lay still all alone on the hill
And the creeks found a shallow path
Now the birches lay bare and the cold winter air
Steals the breath straight out of your lungs
The night pulls the heat like a thread from the street
And the Blue Line bangs like a drum

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Great Quotations: Will Oldham

2nd Place | “Time Well Wasted”