Contest, Poetry

First Place Winner of the 2019 Ada Limón Autumn Poetry Contest judged by Julia Johnson.

Felled hickory spines the ridge. / Follow my father—ripe bar and / chain oil—drags ax. Shoulders / maul.

Poetry by Adam Moore

Felled hickory spines the ridge.
Follow my father—ripe bar and
chain oil—drags ax. Shoulders
maul. Steel wedge loads hand.
Expose the heart—moist, dark—
encased in years cataloged by rings.
This one remembers red wolves,
swift and panting after deer. Before
trappers, steel with trade, or farmers
plowing wolves into seas.  
Wedge and drive, splinter knots—
a tree’s last attempt to sway
ax. In shed, green pieces envy
entry. Thrashers coax the day to close
unknowing their songs conjure cold.
We offer our cords—feed the roaring
black box. Chimney chokes stone
the day. Swift and steel panting,
fire-dogs devour men—rolls them
mute into a sky gray.
Lives stoked with strokes of an ax, so
nothing is lost, not even the ash.

Adam Moore was born in Mississippi where he grew up hunting and practicing wildlife and habitat conservation with his father and family. He earned a BA and MA in English with an emphasis in literature from the University of Southern Mississippi. Adam’s creative work focuses on nature, our perception of the past and rural spaces that seem to exist there. He and his wife currently live in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

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