Please welcome the winner of our “Curiosity” Poetry Contest, Merryn Rutledge. We are pleased to feature two of her poems in the current “Curiosity” issue. “Reckoning” examines thoughts on sustainability and mortality during a rainstorm, contemplating how other animals perceive existence. “I wonder how the worms know time, know when it’s time. And robins, too. What sense compels them to rise, fly north or south? What is now except this branch to grip in storm-swept trees?” Natural imagery dances to Merryn’s alliterative music. “Questions,” our winning poem, muses about the life of Joseph Washington, the only black person identified in the historic cemetery of Hanover, Massachusetts. Merryn addresses him directly, her poetic voice resonant, respectful and insistent, probing the truth underlying his headstone and epitaph, wondering what “FREE” meant for this man and how whiteness has obscured his story, even as it granted him a sliver of recognition. The poem reaches its peak with a query into the name of Washington, “And what of your illustrious surname— Did you give it to yourself? Did Washingtons buy and sell your people?”
Experience Merryn’s insightful and exquisite poetry in the newest issue of Synkroniciti, “Curiosity,” now available for purchase and digital download here: https://synkroniciti.com/the-magazine/purchase-individual-issues/.
Merryn Rutledge’s poems have appeared widely. A poetry collection is forthcoming in spring, 2023 from Kelsay Books. She enjoys teaching poetry craft, supporting fellow writers by reviewing their books, singing, dancing, and working for social justice causes.
Writing is Merryn’s third career, after teaching literature, film studies, and creative writing at Phillips Exeter Academy, and then running a leadership development consulting firm. Merryn lives near Boston and the seashore, where long, horizon-filled walks feed her soul.