On Sunday, December 15, 2013 9:53 AM, stazja mcfadyen <stazja@yahoo.com> wrote:

In celebration of the 65th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and on behalf of Poets for Human Rights, it is my honor to announce the winner of the 2013 Anita McAndrews Award. Congratulations to Felicity Harley of Hebron, CT.

Felicity Harley is a polished public speaker, published journalist, writer and a poet.

She served on the board of directors of Curbstone Press, the award-winning Willimantic, CT-based not-for-profit literary press for twenty years. While serving on that board she advised on manuscripts and literary trends, organizational strategy and management insight, interaction with funding entities, as well as hands-on fundraising efforts. Additionally she published in chapbooks with the vibrant poetry group that was sponsored by the press.

Felicity Harley has most recently been published in an anthology called Gathered Light — On the Poetry of Joni Mitchell, alongside writers such as Wally Lamb, Kim Addonizio, Fred Wah (Poet Laureate of Canada), Larry Klein, Susan Deer Cloud, Cornelius Eady, and others. In addition she has been accepted by Hartbeat Ensemble as a commissioned writer of the play “Transplant”. This play was directed in 2014 by one of the nation’s 25 premier young directors, Steven Raider Ginsberg.

Herewith, the 2013 Anita McAndrews Award winning poem — Ripe Summer Apricot:

Sirhan does your honor

lie between a woman’s legs?

When you raised your magnum

to your sister’s temples

and watched

the bullet enter the soft white skin,

below the dark hairline of her forehead,

saw its damage spread like a purple bruise

across her face,

disintegrating her features into

a mass of shattered bone fragments

and crimson rose petals

did you rejoice? Lift your fist

heavenward towards Allah, as her body

slumped sideways away from you

across the faded blue couch of your childhood,

gently lying in its innocence,

doubly betrayed.

Are you the same brother who played with her

when you were children?

Exchanged sticky kisses,

fought over toys and hid under the house

whispering secrets in the dark,

smiling at each other as you heard your mother’s shrill bird call

while she searched for you,

your breath brushing your sister’s forehead,

blowing the tendrils of her hair

as you inhaled the milky sweetness

of her skin, glistening like a pearl

in the light that fingered its

way down towards you,

threatening to give you away.

Did you forget, as you pulled the trigger

how tender and precious she was?

Like a ripe summer apricot

to be pressed delicately

against your heart.