2023 Sidewalk Poetry

2023 Sidewalk Poetry Contest Winners

Mary Baine Campbell

The other day on the street
I saw someone who looked
Like you: pausing, gazing
Down at the sidewalk
At a poem, moving
Their lips.

mulberry season
Christine Del Castillo

in the plague year i beheld
the mulberry tree — once pruned
to anonymity, now thriving, weed-like,
in the absence of any human care.
how i envied its generosity
while needing nothing at all.
just the sun’s work, the miracle
of sugaring, the lavish,
unfettered ripening.

Citrus Blossom
Missy Hartvigsen

As a little girl, I wrote poems about a
lunchbox orange, jubilant with seeds.
As a teenager, I wrote about a
sun-warmed peel, lips sticky with juice.
As a woman I write about sharing
snacks. Savoring one soft sliver,
flavor like laughter on my tongue.

Humano entre humanos
Allen Perez -Somarribas

Vine del desierto, del muro,
y de la frontera.
¡Y sobreviví!
Justicia denegada en mi tierra.
¡Pero ahora pertenezco al presente!
¡Manantiales de esperanza,
y del abrazo fraterno!
En mayo saludo las flores de Cambridge,
mi hogar, saludo a mis vecinos,
extranjero no, solo humano entre humanos.


Human among humans
I came from the desert, the wall,
and from the border.
And I survived!
In my land, justice denied.
But now I belong to this present.
Wellsprings of hope,
and fraternal embrace.
In May I greet the flowers of Cambridge,
my home. I happily wave to my neighbors:
not an alien, just human among humans.

Drinking Tea With Buddha
Jan Shafer

Years ago, Buddha invited me to tea.
“Mine is too hot,” I told him.
“Just let it sit,” he said.
Then he stood, peering up at the sky.
I was thirsty, but he mused,
“Three things cannot be long hidden:
The sun, the moon, and the truth.”
I wanted my tea. “It’s hard to wait.”
“That’s the truth,” he whispered
as twilight began to cool the night.