I am so proud to know Steve Deutsch.  He is part of my poetry workshop group and for the second month in a row, one of his poems, this time “Flotilla,” was chosen by Goodreads from more than 300 entries as a finalist in their monthly contest.  To read the poems in the contest, click here.  And if you agree, as I do, that Steve’s poem is outstanding, please vote.


You left behind.
one half a jelly donut,
stale as last Wednesday;
some clothing, moth-eaten,
mildewed; two shoes,
one black, one brown,
with newsprint for the soles.
You left behind a paper sack
of winter warmth, and poetry
by Whitman, Poe and Crane,
well-fingered and browned in age.

You walked into the river
and left behind four dollars
and eighteen cents, which I
have spent on coffee
and a banana nut muffin,
that crumbled in its freshness.

Your poetry; penned
in your perfect prep school hand,
was stuffed inside two newish socks
atop the brown and laceless shoe.
It is unnervingly good,
but I can use the socks.
I crumpled your words in their freshness,
and set them to sail upon the river,
page by remarkable page.

– Steve Deutsch
First published in Weatherings
photo courtesy of moneycrashers.com

12 thoughts on “Flotilla

  1. What a remarkable poem. I’m going to read it to my monthly small poetry group, where we each bring one new poem of our own as well as one by another poet we admire. I love this one. Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention, Sarah.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Steve won the Goodreads monthly contest this month with “Flotilla.” There are always over 300 entries, with only 6 finalists, and then voting by about 200 members of the Poetry group on Goodreads, so it is a real honor to win. Like you, I think “Flotilla” is a brilliant poem. Steve gets inside the head of the homeless man who happened upon the scene, and without judgement either of the other man or himself, does what he must to survive. Thanks for responding to it so positively.


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