A poem by Joyce Tang, honorable mention,
The College Alumni Society Poetry Prizes, 2002



Behind the Picket Fence


Men shuffle tiles to the tune of Scrabble
Pondering on color swatches. Girls write musings
To shave their pencils onto journals
Dropped between couches. He wonders

At me. Why there is no one here
Who doesn't smoke the smell
Of daffodils--sadly--Marylin wishes
She wasn't Marylin anymore. It's weary

To eat morning muffins that crinkle
In their plastic shells. Out of boredom
Let's rearrange the pawns on this grid
So it no longer orders us

To open our umbrellas in the rain,
So we can get wet and try the next line
So I can say, "I'm doing just fine."
Riding the carousel, I begin to see, is like the world
Gone crazy. No, it's merely

That we spin in place on roller coasters
Coast to start. Dinner begins
Every Tuesday with a frightened rose
That weeps all-too-spicy chili peppers. I'm
Versed in the flames. The singe

Of the heroine in my favorite book. The
Women here snake off their aprons
And a day to slash
The moon into crescents. Its grin
Hums life in a glass ball.

It's lovely when love turns in fall.