Nancy Leake Wins Berreitter Gallery Competition

Nancy has won first place for poetry in the first Judged and Juried Competition at Berreitter Photography and Gallery in St. James City, Florida. The Visual Arts Center in Punta Gorda asks for submissions of poetry to be written for any one of the many paintings hanging in the Center for their Biennial National Art Exhibition. The winners read their poems to the audience during the Evening of Poetry reception at the Center. She was one of the winners in 2016 with “My Name is Dolores.” Winning again in 2018 with “Ghost Tree,” and again in 2020 with “Summer Boat Yard.” Below is her 2018 winning poem:

(Painting “Nature’s Old Age” by Sharon Hudson)

GHOST TREE

Your bare arms, thin and brittle,
reach toward Heaven as if praying
for a respite from the ravages of old age.
Fingers misshapen in the grip of arthritis,
trunk bent like an old man whose back
has given out after years of hard work.
A cold shadow of yesterday’s glory.
You stand mute, frozen in a state of numbness.
I feel your pain, I know your loneliness.
You bear the scars of many years
and I feel a kinship with you.
We have both grown weary,
old age has played her tricks on us…
but, for you, spring is coming!
Once more, the birds will light in your branches
and squirrels will tickle your bark
as they search for the perfect alcove
to build their nests.
New life will emerge in your buds
and you will again stand regal and full
with wisdom that only comes with age.

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