Rhyming Poetry First Place Winner: "Lessons of a Cruel Tide"

Congratulations to Barbara Jennes, first place winner in the Rhyming Poetry category of the 89th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's her winning poem, "Lessons of a Cruel Tide"
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Congratulations to Barbara Jennes, first place winner in the Rhyming Poetry category of the 89th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's her winning poem, "Lessons of a Cruel Tide"


[See the complete winners list.] 

Lessons of a Cruel Tide

Collectors flood the beach at dawn,

when low tide hauls away the seas

and strews the sands with curios

beloved by seashell devotees

who cast aside the fractured hulls—

the broken, barnacled, or bleak—

for only perfect specimens

evince the quality they seek.

I am a lover of the wrecks—

the rejects, callously defaced

by wind-whipped waves and currents fierce,

unleashed to torment fragile waste.

The shells I prize have fared the worst,

but in their damage, beauty’s bared—

internal shapes, once mystery,

are brought to light, revealed, declared.

I am a battered seashell, too—

endurer of a host of blows;

each wound, once healed, becomes a rift

that silken tissue overgrows.

It takes a hurt to hone a blade

although its ore is rent apart;

a wretched blow will amplify

the splendor of a tender heart.

And like the seashells I collect

I favor fellow souls instilled

with lessons of a cruel tide

and scars that speak of grace fulfilled.

Rhyming Poetry
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