Looking through the nominees for Poem of the Week is fast becoming one of our favourite weekly tasks. The quality of the output seems to increase with every crop of new entries and as difficult as it often is deciding which ones stand out the most, it’s hard not to come away from the experience feeling freshly proud and inspired. Anyway, that’s enough preamble from me for one day, let’s get this show on the road.
3rd Place ‘Radiation Day 22’ by Ally Malinenko
Greenpoint is a mess too, she says, flexing her knee after telling us how she had both knees done totally replaced, she said but not at this hospital, the one in Queens but still, she says Greenpoint is a mess. So is Williamsburg all these young people.
Yippies, her husband chimes in pulling his gown down over his thin knobby knees
Hippies, she says, correcting him then, no wait, hipsters she says. My daughter told me they’re call hipsters.
They’re called idiots, the old man says and I start to laugh and she catches me because I never say anything in here
and she says I’m right aren’t I? My daughter told me they’re called hipsters.
Yippies, the old man offers again. No, she says, you never get anything right.
Yes, I tell her. You’re right.
And she says sitting up proud like a rooster whose gotten some attention, my daughter also said that the Orientals aren’t Orientals anymore. We call them Asian now. See? She says, I’m learning.
Orientals? Anna the old Italian says They are everywhere. Every-a neighborhood. Everywhere. I can’t get away from them.
Yes, the old lady says but now they’re called Asians.
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