40th Annual Parkmont Poetry Festival: Saturday, April 30, 2022.

Deadline for submissions is Tuesday, February 22, 2022.

2021 Winner

Goddesses

Lurbira stretches luxuriously,

All wide hips and broad thighs,

All lined with

Stretch marks like rivers.

Wrinkles like canyons.

Veins like spiderwebs.

Symbols of her love for us, her children who walk upon the world.

Why should she diminish herself when she has a whole planet to fill?

 

Innana’s lips open, showing a gap between her

two

front

teeth.

She has no need to hide it, after all, why should she?

She knows her power, she knows she is beautiful too.

What do her teeth matter when all rejoice to see her smile?

 

Medb stands strong on her throne,

head held high, eyes flashing fire and lightning.

Her skin is scarred from an eternity of battles,

And she is missing

a hand.

She forges herself a new one out of metal and magic and fights again,

Stronger than before.

Faster than before.

Dazzling her armies, terrifying her foes.

No one dares to call Medb weak.

 

Aphrodite rests on a couch draped with silks and shakes her head at

Botticelli,

Bouguereau,

Giordano,

and all the others too.

Why did they not paint her truly?

Why did they not paint the hair between her legs?

Why did they not paint the mole on her shoulder?

Why did they make her so thin, so delicate, so unlike

herself?

But then she shrugs and smiles.

She loves herself, it is enough.

She is

enough.

 

A young woman stands looking into a dressing room mirror.

She shakes her head—

Not those pants. They make her look

Fat.

A child scrolls through Instagram, looking at

Perfect, pearly smiles.

Teeth white and flawless.

They smile into their own camera and frown, then shove the phone away,

and close their

mouth.

A high-school girl gasps as needle bites tender flesh, blood welling up.

It had said on the website that this was

safe.

Would get rid of

pimples.

Gross, ugly pimples.

But now she is bleeding.

She looks at herself in the bathroom mirror and turns away in

disgust.

 

Lurbira weeps.

Innana’s smile crumples.

Medb covers her face with her silver hand.

Aphrodite sighs deeply and turns her face away.

Why can’t they all see that

they

are

goddesses

too?

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Isabel Avidon

Isabel Avidon

Georgetown Day School

Grade: 8

Hometown:

Washington, DC

Birthplace:

Washington, DC

Favorite Author or Book:

I have too many to pick just one, but some of my current favorite authors are Robin McKinley, Neon Yang, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Emily Dickinson.

Dream for the Future:

I’d love to help make the world a more accepting and caring place. And on a more personal note, I want to keep doing creative, geeky stuff!

Inspirational Figure:

Lots of people inspire me, but especially Laura Bailey.