2018 Fall Contest, Traditional Form – Rondeau, 2nd Place Winner

by Mikaela Curry

Grief, a songbird in hidden heart
sorrow tempo, overture start
melody on exhalation
finding breath a new causation
acoustic anguish to impart

aching notes upon her chord chart
the beat your blood, your tune her art
distress, yet too love’s ovation
                  Grief, a songbird

each dawn comes chance for some restart
then comes the song, you cannot part
both cage and crowd, captivation
same reprise of realization
ringing rhythm of aching heart
                  Grief, a songbird

Judge’s comments
“Affannato” offers a surprising image of grief, with language that is smooth and lyrical.
—Angela Decker

Mikaela Curry is a published poet and community organizer living in eastern Kentucky, where she founded and manages a community poetry organization. She regularly performs spoken word poetry which reflects her passion for social justice and has performed alongside influential activists Angela Davis and Rev. Dr. William Barber II. Her work has been featured in exhibits and symposiums and has appeared or is forthcoming in Panoply, Eclectica, Balancing the Scales, and Meat for Tea.

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