Nolka Bates ’16 has placed for her poem “Irrationality” in the Poet’s Seat Poetry Contest. She and other winners in the 23rd annual contest will read their poems as part of an awards ceremony held on April 29 at 7 p.m. in the Capen Room at Stoneleigh-Burnham School.

The Friends of the Greenfield Public Library has sponsored the Poet’s Seat Poetry Contest each year since 1991. The competition is held in honor of Frederick Goddard Tuckerman who lived in Greenfield from 1847 until his death in 1873 and was considered by his contemporaries — Emerson, Thoreau, and Tennyson — to be a gifted poet.

Awards will be given for first, second, and third place in the adult division and the four top poems in the youth division for ages 12 to 18 (divided into 12 to 14 and 15 to 18 for judging).

by Nolka Bates

Words tattooed on skin unseen:
I live in fear of your tattered dreams.
You wrote screw you on my pale skin
with hands that shook and an acidic grin.

Ignore the stumbling rhythm
of my fingers on your collarbone.
I’ll look past the lack of emotion
in your stuttering stretched thin syllables.

I refuse to weave you bitter dreams from similes,
but I’ll try to mend your wires as you sleep.
And if my eyes fall closed, accidentally,
please don’t sell your heart to make it through the week.