2nd Place - July 2013







Between Old Walls: A Sestina

The sun shimmers on old stone walls. Under
awnings, strange tongues call to wandering crowds.
Lemons. Peppers. Clusters of grapes. Dark eyes
flash while quick hands tumble melons into dusky
bags that crunch. All around the oranges glow,
skin dimpled clean, self-sure. Mounds

of avocadoes stand proud. Mounds
of thin-skinned tomatoes loll under
signs with prices crudely chalked. Glow-
ing eggplants slump in purple heaps. Crowds
of green-topped carrots brush parsley, dusky
broad beans, sweet onions and black-eyed

peas. Open sacks hold popping corn. Eyes
are lured to silver scoops in mounds
of sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, dusky
herbs crushed spicy sweet. Sheltered under
glass sit rounds of cheese, yogurt, crowds
of eggs in paper flats. Voices clamour. Glow-

ing merchants stand self-sure; glow-
ing faces line the stalls while greedy-eyed
hordes push, squeeze, wait in crowds
for pretzels stacked on poles and mounds
of bread strewn with poppy seeds. Under
cloths, rounds of pita nestle in dusky

shadows. Cunning sellers thrust dusky
bags at passersby. Pomegranates, glow-
ing apricots, roasted peanuts. Under
wrinkled brows, mouths are pursed, eyes
shrewd. Buyers pause. Some touch the mounds
with diffidence; others slip through the crowds,

searching stubbornly. By corners, crowds
amass for fresh strawberries and dusky
watermelons. In dim caverns, mounds
of sweets wait on sticky trays. Faces glow,
fingers reach, coins flash. The eyes
of merchants scan, their voices call. Under

awnings, between walls, crowds chatter under
the morning sun. Dusky cats hide from eyes
dazzled by the mounds where dimpled oranges glow.

~ Sophie Rosen