Posted December 16, 2019.

2019 Fall Contest Winner: 3rd Place, Members Only

Here a Small Rain

by Nancy Christopherson

Joy requires

a lot of hard work—we must

be willing to stand near

the fence, as horses do.

Stand there and say love, not with

our mouths, with our full bodies—

heavy manes and tails—and not bite.

Otherwise—what, the battles rage

on. So tired of that.

Here now this small soaking rain.

Misty droplets huddled along

railings then spilling down. And us

nascent, wet again. Old. Ancient water.

It took everything to get here.

Judge’s comments

In third place is “Here a Small Rain.” This meditative poem, with haikuesque sentiments, leads the reader to philosophical contemplation of the opening line, “Joy requires/a lot of hard work….” Considerable skill is required to craft a poem so seemingly simple on the surface but one that moves with surprising leaps into deceptively deep terrain.

Leah Stenson

Poet bio

Nancy Christopherson, author of The Leaf, lives and writes in eastern Oregon. Her poetry has appeared in Common Ground Review, Helen Literary Magazine, Peregrine Journal, Raven Chronicles, Third Wednesday, and Xanadu, among others, as well as various regional anthologies. Visit

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