Congratulations to Brianna Vorce, the winner of the 2013 Concordia College Archives Poetry Contest. Brianna's poem, titled Ten Miles South, is included to the right of her photograph . Thank you to all who participated in this contest!
TEN MILES SOUTH
of Moorhead, straight down Highway 75,
the four of us pull over, park the car
by a corn field, take our blankets from the trunk,
along with the beer we wouldn’t drink. Tonight
we’ve put away the essays, the exams
and interviews. We walk through the ditch,
wind picking up burrs, sticking them to our hair,
our sweatshirts and jeans. A burst of dust,
dirt, and seed from under the brambles
and dead thistles after our footsteps--
almost unseen except for its haze in the
light from the lone streetlamp and the
itch in our eyes. We find a soft spot, less
coarse than the rest, spread a quilt, just one
under the four us. Lie, hip to hip, shoulder
to shoulder, fold the other quilt over us,
cutting the chill of the wind. From here,
town is only the reflection of light
on the clouds above, like a distant floating
bonfire. The college, our home for now,
is no longer visible. We’re in between this town
and the next, between our parents’ homes
and our own, with withered corn husks rustling
like whispered words. Beneath our blanket,
the soil is uneven—tilled under for next year’s crop.
Now it rests, waiting for the winter, the spring,
and the rain. And while we watch for stars through
the breaks in the clouds we tell riddles. What goes
out when it’s wished on? A candle. The breeze
picks up and we pull the blankets tighter.
The more you have of it, the less you see.
Darkness. A car passes, its headlights sliding
over us. What are you doing after graduation?
A pause –broken cornstalks find soft spots
in backs, legs, and heads. We don’t answer,
but sit close, sharing warmth against the wind.