Vox Poetry Contest


This poem is the second-place winner in the 2024 Vox Poetry Contest.


Game Point

by Thomas Alan Orr

The bombing lasted weeks, a hail of death
and desolation that became routine,
and when it stopped, the Gazans took a breath.
Four little boys played soccer in the sun
along the beach. They laughed at every kick.
For them the sea at Gaza was alive,
the white sand kissed by surf, the blue air thick
with heat. And then a sudden blast that gave
no warning as the missile hit and scored.
The world must sing a dirge whenever blood
of Abraham is spilled again for land –
Ahed and Ismael, Mohamed, dead,
and Zakaria, gone, their game cut short.
Call none a man who kills a child for sport.

About the Poet: Thomas Alan Orr lives and writes on a small farm in Indiana. He raises Flemish Giant rabbits. His most recent collection is Tongue to the Anvil: New and Selected Poems. His work has appeared in The Sun, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Milk House, and the Merton Seasonal. He has poems forthcoming in Midwest Quarterly and Flying Island.


Read More from the 2024 Vox Poetry Contest