First Place Poem: “grandmother” by Anna Pedigo


she lived in that dirt and baking-
soda soil, her drywood fingers
cradling book pages gentle
as if she were holding a bird,
turning those well-worn wings,
their songs rustle the living room
curtains. her feet shuffled through
breakfast with black coffee, and
she napped late in the afternoon.

i think of her curled form on that
white couch and how onions never
see the sun until they ripen,
huddled and waiting for harvest,
of her saying sometimes i think
god forgot me as she sighed,
rocked back in her green recliner.

she was a pallid moon, nearly
a century of folded skin and
folded hand towels, quiet sighs
in the kitchen over tepid dishwater,
over luzianne tea bags and lemon
slices, earthy, tart. she sighed like
the breath of a breeze on fanned
leaves gone yellow, a pale bulb,
ready for the plucking.


Anna Pedigo is a 2021 MFA graduate of the Sewanee School of Letters, University of the South, where she spent four years studying craft and writing poetry. Her writing has always been colored by the Appalachian landscape and culture. She grew up in rural East Tennessee and currently resides in Knoxville, Tennessee. She works as a reading and writing teacher for children K-12, and aspires to one day teach college and graduate level poetry workshops.


**Featured image by Danie Franco on Unsplash, (altered to fit)


  1. An exquisite poem by a talented writer. A pleasure to read and reread!

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