“Leave it in the Ground” | Manchester Poetry Prize (2023)

In the dojo, Master Yun taught us that to break the board you must
level your fist, your foot, your knifed palm not at the board itself
but beyond the board, through the board, trained on the torso of the one
who grasps the board. Only then the broken board becomes a certainty.
In this spirit, I will state the obvious forgone conclusion of our time,
we must leave it in the ground.  [link]

Marquart, Debra.  “Leave it in the Ground.” Five poem sequence.  Manchester Poetry Prize, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.  Shortlist Publication.  December, 2023.

  • “[In the dojo, Master Yun taught us],”
  • “[And for Deja, whom I discovered a little tipsy],”
  • “[And leave it in the ground for my student in Watford City],”
  • “[And for Rhonda, who lives in White Earth with a pump jack],”
  • “[I return to the state of my birth in haste].”