Still Literary Contest Judge's Selection: Noel Smith
Noel Smith was born and raised in New York City but lived in eastern Kentucky and visits there frequently. She has one collection of poetry, The Well String, published by MotesBooks of Louisville, Kentucky. Her work has appeared in many journals including Appalachian Heritage, The Sow's Ear and Shenandoah.
Love in a Warp
Fifty years have passed since she’s seen him
And would she give him a ride to the Tennessee line?
Now he rides in the passenger seat by her side.
Rangy. Same old lanky shanks.
She drives loose with her left hand.
In her right a diet coke, he there
so easy she feels the rusted flecks
fall from her chest, smooth along route 25
and on down to the Tennessee line.
Time-warped fifty years past their love
and though disguised in their crone’s masks
she is once again the secret queen
beside the handsome king, as their
battered motorcade rattles over the tracks
past the boarded up railroad museum,
boarded up Wynn Dixie, boarded up Exxon,
and boarded up Lyceum the two of them
floating so easy through the lime green trees of May.
Suddenly a yellow sea of raw earth
opens for miles where their favorite mountain
once stood. She feels jolted from Queen
to a sort of refugee and begins the slow
picking of terms with this light she is passing through,
on down to the Tennessee line to his wife and grandchildren.