Honorable Mention | Elizabeth O'Connell-Thompson

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Elizabeth O'Connell-Thompson is an Irish-American writer with all of her hyphens and passports in place. She lives in Chicago, where she is the Literary Coordinator of the Chicago Publishers’ Resource Center and leads their Wasted Pages Writers’ Workshop. Get in touch at EOTwrites.com





So often with you I would stop

          my words and offer my hands:

          arms low, wide apart.

                   I have nothing more to give,

                   but, see, I have taken nothing.


So we did not speak for a sunny year,

          and I gave my words freely,

          told by others how highly you prized them.

                   Instead of shaking hands, I drew people into my arms,

                   smiling, inevitably, at you across the room.


So we do not speak at all.

          I lose my words in the mouth of another

          who remembers most days to return them.

                   My hands are full of the sand of a new city,

                   with burns from candles I no longer keep lit.