2008 Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award

Winner: “Sightseers"
by Stephen Scaer
Final Judge: Timothy Steele


The tourists pose for photographs and call
their relatives to brag about the yachts,
the crystal breakers shattering on the wall,
the mansions yearning seaward from their lots.
A few will spend a moment there alone,
transported to a gentle century –
a garden party held on polished stone
where ladies in white dresses serve them tea.
But soon the dream dissolves.  They grow aware
of boys performing backflips off the rocks
for college girls who sunbathe almost bare.
They join their friends to shop along the docks,
or head to their hotel rooms, two by two,
since, after all, a view is just a view.

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