Honorable Mention – 2021 Beverly Hopkins Contest for High School Students

Moonshine Boy

Fort Zumwalt South High School

His gaze was sweet,
Like Laura’s apple pie
With vanilla ice cream
From the Winn-Dixie
Around the corner.

His eyes were green
As the mossy pond
Her father fished in
During the sweltering summers.

His voice was smooth and drawling,
A hymn,
Like warm honey
On her mother’s
Homemade biscuits.

His movements were slow,
Like drizzling rain in the winters,
Strong as Mason’s
Tugboat in the old shed
Across the field.

His smell was comforting,
A tonic,
Like the scent
Of the southern hills
That swallowed up
The town’s
One-lane road
With their massive,
Lush bodies.

His smile was intoxicating,
Like the moonshine
Her grandfather used to make,
And his lips were as forbidden
As her great uncle’s bootlegged rum.

But his words were sharp,
Like the fangs of the water moccasins
That slithered through that
Murky, ancient river water.

His anger was impassable,
Like the summer thunderstorms
Or the spiteful hurricanes
That left her home
In shambles.

His appearance was like the honeysuckle in Josiah’s garden.
Her reality was the layer of poisoned weeds beneath the fence,
The illegal moonshine
She should have never tasted.