Alone and Waiting
Sterile room. Hospital bed. Machines and masks.
A lifetime of treasures unappreciated, now longed for:
A sip of cool water.
The smell of rain and newly-mown grass.
Warm sunlight on red azaleas.
The sweet soprano song of a wren.
Your hair, like silk beneath my fingers.
My effortless breath.
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The winning piece has the virtues of compression and a final line that functions as a fairly devastating turning point, undercutting the sentimentality of the preceding lines with a mortal reduction of everything to brutal bodily fact. Certainly it was the best line of the contest.