2022 June Monthly Contest: Winner Announcement

boy jumping near grass at daytime

We are excited to announce the winner of the June 2022 Chattanooga Writers’ Guild Monthly Contest is Natalie Kimbell with the submission “Circa 1971.”

Natalie Kimbell lives in Sequatchie County, Tennessee. She is a mother of two, and a grandmother of four. She works as a teacher of English, creative theater, and creative writing at her high school alma mater. Her poetry is published in The 2019 Chattanooga Writers’ Guild Anthology, and The 2020 Garfield Lake Review, The 2020 Chattanooga Writers’ Guild Anthology, the 2021 Appalachian Writers Anthology, Dorothy Allison Version and The American Diversity Report. Her work appears in the 2021/22 Women of Appalachia Project’s “Women Speak” anthology, the anthology, Beautiful: In the Eye of the Beholder, and issue 82 2022 second quarter in Abyss and Apex. Natalie also serves on the board of the Chattanooga Writer’s Guild. Her nonfiction ” Attention Deficit Lollapaloosa” will be published in the Chattanooga Writers Anthology for 2022.

Circa 1971

Circa 1971 

now a skeleton of splintering plywood,
our abandoned centennial of childhood
lost to the briers, mourns

a leaning frame of kid foraged 2x4’s salvaged
scraps of faded paneling pieced like a quilt teeter
underneath pieces of rusted corrugated tin 

a madman’s haphazard array of nails
half in, half bend over in grief
illustrate our childish mastery

we built it, my sister and I
on the edge of the yard
among winter dusted sage grass

when completed we elbow crawled 
side by side scooting our puppy 
Charlie Brown, ahead of us 

our legs extending beyond the doggie door,
our mismatched sweats, gloves and tousled toboggans
soaked stomachs and thighs absorbing

thawing ground beneath our Taj Mahal 
just us, hidden in our masterpiece of the discarded
breathing the secret satisfying smell of earth and puppy

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