Before the Splintering

by Ellen Devlin

Honorable Mention – Flash 405, February 2017: “Monster”



Fear is a small thing—a bolt slide, a wink, click
of a hot bar pressed down on your legs, clack-climb
of the roller coaster, bounce and bang of a lipstick tube
fallen from your pocket, rolling soft on the metal floor.


Judge’s Comments:
Before the Splintering was one poem that I found myself going back to over and over in the judging process. What struck me is how, in so few lines, this piece focused on the sensation of fear and how so much of it has to do with anticipation.

Ellen Devlin is a retired public school principal, who began writing and studying and writing poetry six years ago. She has studied at Bread Loaf Writers Conference, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, The Hudson Valley Writer’s Center, and the Sarah Lawrence Writing Institute.

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