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Congratulations to Cynthia Blank, the winner of our most recent blog contest, “villanelle.” We loved her poem “In a Summer Day;” give it a read and notice especially the way she both adheres to the villanelle style while also choosing moments to break out of the strict guidelines of the form.

In A Summer Day

Cynthia Blank

The things you know and refuse to say;
(filling out the subconscious lists constructed in your head)
I should tell you now, summer mayflies die today

when the sun has fled and the sky turns gray
you let me believe they’d remain forever in my bed
along with you and the things you knew but refused to say

like the stories of late spring kisses that went by way
too fast; your hands began to slip out of mine and led
the mayflies to sink their wings for all of yesterday

it wasn’t just those fading blue stars you chose to betray
I didn’t hate you when needles pricked me through a thread
but there were other things – you didn’t know enough to say

or to touch my wrist, the bare skin where now my fingers lay
pressed against my pulse; I know I’m alive not dead
it was only the mayflies who were lost in a single summer day

only not; the cold air also chased the two of us away
(I should have loved some luminescent firefly instead)
there were far too many things you knew you could not say
summer mayflies always die in a summer day


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