2016 Poetry Contest Judge's Choice ~ Jen Dracos-Tice

Bidding on Gratification

-after a candid of Lady Diana before her wedding

One slice, mix of fruit and booze,
fermentation that outlived
marriage to Prince Charles
and her. On the block, edible
thirty-five years later, it fetched 
half what was hoped for. 

Dressmakers, worried at Di’s weight
loss, tucked in her seams 
as she seized a niece to her chest
moments before marriage. Rumpled
silk gown withered under the queen’s
hot glare. Di would dance barefoot,
much later, soles slapping cold marble
down the palace’s hollow halls. 
She always seemed hungry. 

When she died
that Labor Day weekend, I sat before
the lights of Paris sparkling on the dull
screen in my Carolina motel, newly
married, stuffed full of Little Debbies,
Cheerwine, and Moonpies, hoping
I will not die craving.


A native of Georgia with deep roots in Graham County, North Carolina, Jen Dracos-Tice has published poetry in the anthologies Something’s Brewing and All We Can Hold (online feature poems), as well as in Melancholy Hyperbole. Jen teaches in Atlanta, where she lives with her wife and kids.


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