Sally Clark poetry – A View of Concrete Ribbons


I remember when I was young
and driving thirty miles in sixty minutes
of rush hour traffic twice a day so
I could work for eight hours two cities
away from my children in a high-rise
office that afforded a view of concrete ribbons
racing in every direction with
people who knew my name, but that’s
all and climate control that kept everything
uniform in every season;

I used to think about my grandparents
tucked away in the piney woods in
their small, wooden house with a
screened-in porch for summer sleeping
and their tiny kitchen with a green Formica
table top and a clear plastic cover over
the floral sofa so you could see the bouquets underneath;
with a vegetable garden and a chicken coop
and a trout pond and an old pick up truck
the oil company gave my grandfather
to drive to check their wells, twice a day,
his job,

and them waking up together and working
alongside, him hoeing the garden while
she did the laundry and sitting down for lunch
together, every day, bowing their heads to
say thanks for the sweet corn and the left-over
fried chicken and the coupons for paper towels
in the newspaper that day and how those
vinyl chairs clung to your flesh and never wanted
to let your legs
go anywhere else.



Author’s Notes: This poem is a high-dollar earner. In 2011, it won First Place in the Massachusetts State Poetry Society’s Annual Poets Choice.

In 2012, it won First Place in SPS Studio’s 19th Biannual Poetry Card Contest. Also in 2012, under the title, “Memories,” it was published in The Peace Within You: Calming Thoughts to Help You Slow Down, Let Go, and Discover Your Inner Joy, a gift book published by Blue Mountain Arts.

Then in 2016, it won First Place in the Poetry Nook 85th Week Competition and also in 2016,  it won First Place in the Dream Quest One Poetry Summer Contest.

It’s exciting to find a poem that is so widely accepted and celebrated, but also know this poem also lost or was rejected by 26 different publishers/contests/editors.

Sally Clark

Sally Clark

Sally Clark and her husband, Mike, owned the Auslander Restaurant in Fredericksburg, Texas, from 1985 to 2001. Since retirement, Sally has been writing poems like clear pools, the kind where you can see all the way to the mossy rocks on the bottom. She writes about simple things like laundry and yellow highlighters, huge things like the trials of Job and the sins of Abraham, funny things like ice cream and penguins and Halloween, and scary things like heaven and hell and the color of dirt. Her award-winning poetry has been widely published in books, anthologies, magazines, gift books, and online. In 2017, her poem, "Los Compadres," was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Sally's first publication for children is "Where's My Hug?" a lift-the-flap board book published by WorthyKids/Ideals. Buy it for a child you love.
Sally Clark

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