Winner of the 2015 James Vaughan Poetry Contest
by Nicholas Becher
I found the sketching of my youth
Pieced into the confines of a dilapidated tree house
In the nook of a St. Louis suburb.
Through the scope of a pellet gun
I had fired death into the heart of a crow
That dangled upside down from a parallel branch
For a few brief lingering moments.
And as he fell, time skipped into an amorphous circle.
I passed through it as a cavalier rogue
Hoping to know myself
And find love in death.
But I was snapped awake by an abrupt faction;
The crow’s neck splintering against gravel.
I wept for a moment, suspended above the world,
Looking down at the cigarette burns
Blistering in between my knuckles,
Realizing at last that I had grown old
As quickly as the crow had fallen from its perch.
Nicholas Becher is a writer born and raised in St. Louis, MO who moved to O’ahu to attend HPU for English. His work incorporates experience through travel with notions of heartbreak, loss, life, growth, and the human condition. He is currently working on his first novel and is the script writer for the short film White-Key (2015). He is the winner of the Excellence in Undergraduate Writing Award for HPU in 2013 and has a handful of self-published work available at the Apple Store. He plans to attend graduate school for his MFA in Creative Writing in the fall of 2015