Unlocking the Mind Writing Contest Winner

Mary Silwance
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Oct 22, 2019

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Mary Silwance has won our poetry writing contest on the theme of Unlocking the Mind with "Remembering." Read the poem below or see the original (PDF).

Originally from Egypt, Mary Silwance lives in Kansas City. An environmental activist and speaker, award winning poet, mother and farmhand, she is a member of the Kansas City Writers Group and serves on the editorial teams of Kansas City Voices and Konza Journal. Her work appears in numerous publications including Descansos, Heartland: Poems of Love, Resistance, and Solidarity, Sequestrum, Kingdoms in the Wild, Well Versed and Rock Springs Review. Mary explores environmental issues from a spiritual and justice perspective at http://tonicwild.blogspot.com/. She is cofounder of the community-based group, https://www.facebook.com/OneLessPipeline/. She is a recent recipient of the Bread Loaf-Rona Jaffe Foundation Scholarship for environmental non-fiction.


to re


do I go back to the beginning
and start over
like a song or special handshake
relying on the first note
first gesture to unravel the whole
or can I remember
right where I am

place my finger
in the middle of a word
sentence page book
in the middle of a library
endless with middles
and recall how it started and why

to re

as in
put back together
like Humpty-Dumpty
only it’s not a child’s rhyme
it’s my line

as in
to re claim
re pair
re turn
not to Humpty-Dumpty’s wall
measured and martyred
but to

to re member
how it started and why

I’m even
writing this poem
to remember
I need the quiet dark of upturned soil
my shovel’s blade, my pen’s ink, cutting through
the crusty now for
the fertile backstory of what’s to come

Reviewed by Helen H.
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