Dear You

Dear YouIt’s not every day that you get an email from Garrison Keillor telling you he liked your poem.

I am excited to be able to announce today that my poem, “Dear Roger,” has been selected as a grand prize winner in the Third Annual Common Good Books Poetry Contest, hosted by Garrison Keillor.

The winners were announced today during an event held at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN.  It was an honor to be able to attend via telephone and have the opportunity to read and discuss my poem with Mr. Keillor.

Grand Prize Winners:

  • Lisa Kundrat of Minneapolis, MN, for “Dear You”
  • Ethna McKiernan of Minneapolis, MN for “Leaving”
  • Kari Castor of Arlington Heights, IL, for “Dear Roger”

Poems of Merit:

  • Heidi Annexstad of Golden Valley, MN, for “Regarding Your Dishes”
  • Elizabeth Twiddy of Syracuse, NY, for “Dear Neighbor”
  • Cynthia Orange of St. Paul, MN, for “Red, Cabbage, Oldsmobile”
  • Sharon Dardis of St. Paul, MN, for “Dear Stan: You Know Horses”


Dear Roger,

I think sometimes about
that night in college when I
sat on your lap in your room

and the way we tried to devour
each other when we
realized we were alone for a moment–

Aaron graduated and in
Chicago waiting
for me to join him,
our friends returned
to the living room–

the way your thick stubble
burned my cheek

the way I was terrified
to make this mistake
and also terrified
to not make it

the way I made you drive me
home and leant my
still-burning cheek
against the cool car window
and fantasized
the whole way about asking
you into my empty apartment

the way we carefully
avoided touching each other
for fear of striking a spark that might
set the whole fragile veneer ablaze

and I wonder sometimes if you
all these years later
ever think about that night
the way I do