Poetry- Editor's Pick!
First Place Winner!
Joy by Patou
by Laura Sobbott Ross
Instead of Maybelline
or a half dozen small brushes
flecked with dime store
powders and creams,
we discovered Joy.
A doll-sized bottle
even in a child’s fingers.
Its facets crooned at us, tangling
the bathroom’s fluorescent light.
A genie-and-three-wishes allure
too much for the delicate rim
to hold what flowed and flowered.
It was still daylight when my brother
and I were sent to bed without supper,
or knowing that each ounce of Joy
was infused with 28 dozen Bulgarian roses
and 10,400 jasmine flowers, or that our mother,
who slept alone now with the baby,
had received it as a gift from our father.
Her grief, the spilled essence
of lush, heady blossoms
crushed into molecules of twilight.
Joy. That scent, that scent clinging
to our pillowcases, pungent as regret,
had already slipped beyond
the sheerest surfaces of her skin.
Laura Sobbott Ross is a freelance architectural designer. She was recently nominated for a 2008 Pushcart Prize, and has had poetry published in New Millennium Writings, The Arkansas Review, The White Pelican Review, Kalliope, The Caribbean Writer, and the Baker’s Dozen Literary Review, among several others. She will have poetry published in forthcoming editions of The Sows Ear Poetry Review and The William and Mary Review. She also won first place for poetry in contests for the 2006 Mount Dora, Florida Literary Festival and the Great Blue Beacon.