Garbagemen Harboring My Organs
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.