Mabel Picotte, 1st prize winner in SD Poetry Society Contest

The South Dakota Poetry Society Contest winners are in (drum roll….) and our own Oak Lake Writer, Mabel Picotte, won first place for her poem, “Lips Like Strawberries.” Mabel’s voice is honest (I would never say brutally) and fearless in a way one might not expect upon first meeting her. The poem below reflects so much of what makes Mabel an accomplished writer and an accomplished human. It is gentle, but strong, generous in its imagery, and thoughtful. Join Mabel and other winners at the historic Goss Opera House in Watertown this Sunday Jan 15th, 12:00-4:00 p.m., for a reading of winning poems.

Mabel Picotte

The scent of Jasmine
hung heavily
the night I got drunk on Beringer
and blew out love
with the smoke a Marlboro makes
“There are at least two sides to everything”
you said
with lips like strawberries
“I would have never known what was in the front
if I didn’t try the back.”
The wooden steps
became solid, cold
as I pondered the thought
shifting restlessly
to find the softness
that once lifted me outside
my body
killing my glass
my fingers lifted to right
a curly strand
instead I found them
poised mid-air
longing to feel the smooth brown
skin of your cheek
out-stretched and shaking
I choked twice on
imaginings of Lot’s flight
that sparked behind my eyes
at the soft pat of my hand
dropping to my knee
your eyes met mine in pure joy
filling my glass while
calling me your “Kick a hole in the sky girl”
I imagined dancing with you
in the moonlight
but how could I compete
with that “other side”
so silently and uncontrollably
I watched
those strawberry colored lips part
those sweet windows into bliss
press against his
-the maleness I could never be
Inhaling deep
I blew out love on
both your manly faces

2 thoughts on “Mabel Picotte, 1st prize winner in SD Poetry Society Contest”

  1. I really appreciate that you posted Mabel’s winning poem, and even more than that, I appreciated your accurate and succinct introductory commentary to the poem. Yes, Mabel is unerringly honest and strong and soft and gentle, all at once. And she certainly has talent for poetry-writing! Thank you!
    Barb, a friend from SDSPS

  2. Thank you for posting Mabel’s poem I read it with delight as I was Mabel’s English teacher and Director at The Winchendon School in 1995-My name is Tom Couhig and I remember my “WaterLily”. I would love to hear from Mabel after so many years.

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