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Thank you to everyone who entered the TenWordTenDay Poetry Invitational! The competition was fierce and we were thrilled to have so many excellent pieces to choose from.

Congratulations to Yi-Mei Tsiang for her wining poem “First Train Ride.” Ms. Tsiang will receive a chapbook of her choice from the Vallum Chapbook Series and her poem will be featured on this site and in Vallum’s memo.

First Train Ride

Yi-Mei Tsiang

First train ride and my daughter’s

face is pressed to the glass. She kneels

by the window, and even the small rounded hills look glacial

with November’s early frost.

I’m touched by the arc of her spine,

the intensity which coils in her body

like a taut spring. Her gaze is as precise

as mathematics. Nothing can escape

her catalogue of passing miracles.

We’re travelling to Toronto, we’ve explained,

to the funhouse, the circus, the zoo. Still, disembarking,

she clings to the windows, cries

with all the frantic adrenalin of grief.

We pry her fingers off, carry her kicking

and screaming; her boots fall and tumble over the station

floor. One is caught in the cleft between the tracks and the platform

and just before my husband reaches to retrieve it,

a train blows by and the boot

is thrown into the air, a black bird,

a final miracle.

Bio: Yi-Mei Tsiang is the author of A Flock of Shoes (Annick Press). Her full-length poetry collection, Sweet Devilry is forthcoming in Spring 2011 with Oolichan. She also has two new books forthcoming with Annick Press, The Dog Doesn’t Eat Jam and a book of non-fiction on ancient China. She is currently completing UBC’s MFA program and is a graduate from the Humber School of Writing. Yi-Mei currently teaches Creative Writing for UBC’s Booming Ground program.

Congratulations again to our winner!