This entry didn't win the BAP Poem Challenge that Paul Violi judged for us, but it merited honorable mention, and I love the glucklich allusions (oranges that mock, figures that descend, a missing umlaut, a vita nova) and other echoes (dogs of war, wounded heels) that make Barbara G. S. Hagerty's "Endgame" a puzzle-solver's delight. -- D.L.
Liebling, ach! Someone has unleashed the dogs of war.
Oranges in the garden mock us with their scent.
Uselessly it drifts over the descending figure, firstborn, wild
iris, house on marshland. The apple that inspired war.
Shield yourself and soldier on: time wounds all heels.
Elementary, in any age: conceal, unlock your
glock, uzi, colt: unload the quiver's poison arrows;
love, unloose the umlaut, don't be diacritical,
umbilical, attached, heroic, Homeric.
Coming forth on dove's wings: a vita nova, the odyssey's
kiss in time that, at endgame, heals all wounds.
-- Barbara G. S. Hagerty