Cycles Writing Contest Winner

smiling woman with shoulder length grey hair in a blue short sleeved top with one hand in her jeans pocket
Lori Stratton
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Reviewer's Rating
Mar 1, 2023

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Lori Stratton has won our writing contest on the theme of Cycles with her piece "Seasons."

Lori Stratton is a high school English teacher, writer, mother, grandmother, wife, and daughter. Find more of her work on Medium at, and at


I appreciate the way the seasons melt together

and the way we never really know where

one starts and another ends

or which one comes first in the cycle.

The way March’s green first peeps

then shoots through

February’s remaining muddy white.

The way late November forgets its leaves overnight

when December steals in, its darkness

spreading over us like a favorite comforter,

familiar and warm.

Or the way I spend my mornings tending

to my granddaughter, changing her diaper,

coaxing spoons full of pureed pears into

her small, pink mouth, then retreat in the evenings

to my mother’s apartment.

I check the bathroom for signs of illness,

throw out the wilting lettuce from the refrigerator,

spread ointment over her thinning skin,

her aching joints.

I hold my mother’s hands, noticing that we share the same fingers,

the same brown spots, the same knobby knuckles, her

hands only slightly smaller

than mine.


Reviewed by Helen H.
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