Poets All Around Us

The 2011 Seattle Times Poetry contest received over 350 entries with a neighborhood theme. Seattle Times book editor Mary Ann Gwinn selected the Poem Broadview by Paul Franklin-Bihary as Editor’s Choice winner.

Seattle Times NW Arts & Life

Editor’s Choice winner


I bought my parents’ house

(my grandparents’ before)

Lost between green woods

And bitter lakes.

I breathe in the western glow,

Hints of chlorophyll, rotting seaweed,

Notes of cedar, blackberry, fern,

Gasoline, copper.

Adopted offspring of Ballard and Shoreline,

This extra appendage of my soul.

This place.

All elsewheres are empty.

This secret segment of city still

Insists, stirs,

Mandates return.

This place.

As children, we would gallivant these four blocks,

Hop small fences between yards;

Shared territory.

In winter,

We pushed sleds on invisible tracks,

Raucous rollercoasters sliding

on white.

In summer,

Wheels replaced runners.

Gangs of K-mart-bought bikes

Traversed chipped stone loose in newly-laid tar;

Late night flashlight tag,

The big kids hiding in trees,

Olive-clad knees

Hidden limbs.

This place.

My daughter,

Sliding down the same stairs;

This western light,

This generational scent,

Will fill her,

And maybe she

Will come back


Poet: Paul Franklin-Bihary

Age: 37

Occupation: Teacher

Home neighborhood: Broadview

Seattle Times NW Arts & Life May 8, 2011

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