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Garbagemen Harboring My Organs
Kaci MoDavis

2023 Candlewick Prize Winner

If I knew heartstrings could 

Shatter as easily as a splintered

Windshield, I would have carved

Up the organ before placing it

In the trash. I would have turned

It into a passion project before 

Tossing it like a spoiled head of 

Lettuce. I could surely pass it off 

As an accident, but discarding

It would be my deepest pleasure. 

Obviously the garbage man would 

Worry some but unless he peels 

Away the mint-scented plastic, the 

Tragedy would stay hidden away. 

This calamity was never his

To bear, only my own. 

His theories of the numb woman 

Chopping up hearts and leaving

Her sanity on the sidewalk

Would be disproven by the smile 

On my welcoming face as he passes 

Mid-morning. As if the

Easiest it could be, I’d leave here

And refuse to look back at the home

Where my heartstrings no longer

Dance, no longer sing, 

No longer beat.

Kaci MoDavis is a junior Creative Writing and Sociology double major, and a member of the Sigma Tau Delta honor society. She often finds herself writing fiction and poetry about troublesome circumstances, and enjoys turning the mundane into a curiosity. Her work has appeared in Apricot Press and the FUSE Moondial publication.

This year's Candlewick Prize was awarded to Kaci MoDavis for her poem "Garbagemen Harboring My Organs." Kaci's powerful use of voice, perspective, and imagery draws the reader into a scene that leaves them awestruck. To follow the words of our mission statement, Kaci's piece "encourages new perspectives of the fantastical and mundane." The moment we read it we knew it would pull readers from their reality to spend time in ours. 

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