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WNIJ broadcast one winning Mother's Day poem each day this week during Morning Edition. The poems were selected by our contest judge, Susan Porterfield, from 85 submissions received.The most recent poem -- the one at the top of the queue -- is Porterfield's "Honorable Mention."

Racer Mama A Strong Finisher In Mother's Day Poetry Contest

Carl Nelson

NASCAR meets Mother's Day in today's featured poem. All week we're showcasing the winners of our Mother's Day Poetry Contest. Our judge, Susan Porterfield, picked "Hot Rod Mama!" for a variety of reasons:

Let’s just say this straight out: Moms can be sexy. And this poem celebrates that other side of her, the one that her kids probably don’t see or even want to see but that her spouse or partner does. I like how this poem gets at her sexiness, not only by saying what she looks like — “pretty-eyed” and “blonde” — which is traditional, but also by what she does. She’s a race-car driver, for heaven’s sake, and a good one! In fact, in some ways, this poem seems to be tickled by what some might call her liberation. She’s a free soul, we’re told, with a “who cares grin.” Because of her appearance, “5 foot 3” and lipstick-wearing, the other drivers, all men, “can’t believe she’ll win” but in fact she does, leading our author to, perhaps, make a slight and telling pun — calling his red hot mama an example of “first-class sass,” (that’s sass) one engaged in “breaking barriers” -- both literally, by being first to cross the finishing line, as well as symbolically, by loving to race fast cars.

What Porterfield didn't know -- because she didn't see the author's names -- is that this poem's author is a woman: Carol Ingersoll of Beloit. Ingersoll's poem is one of five selected by Porterfield from 85 entries received. Here's "Hot Rod Mama!" read by the author, followed by the text:

Hot Rod Mama! dirt track racing in a red dress 5 foot 3, pretty eyed and lipstick the smell of raw fuel, sweet perfume open piped v8 keeps the back beat blonde hair with a who cares grin she lines up to race '64 Ford keeps the pace all the men who can't believe she'll win they won't wonder again here she comes round the stretch, blasting past the checkered flag is hers she is first class feminine sass breaking barriers walk the mile toe the line redefine the times my beautiful, amazing, trailblazing hot rod mama.

We have one more Mother's Day poem to share with you. Porterfield selected a runner-up or honorable mention, which we're attaching to the bottom of today's winner.

We also welcome your comments about these poems -- and don't forget to tag us on Facebook or on Twitter @WNIJnews.

Good morning, Early Riser! Since 1997 I've been waking WNIJ listeners with the latest news, weather, and program information with the goal of seamlessly weaving this content into NPR's Morning Edition.
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