Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2010

Wounded Bird

by Oliver Barton

Unable to sleep, I rise at five
and open the curtains. Nearly dawn.
All is still, save
a solitary plastic bag

trapped by the railings,
fluttering like a wounded bird.
The street is bleak, shops dark,
their doorways eyeless chasms.

In one, by Jones the Jewellers,
is a bundle, a bundle of rags.
A small black cat, with one torn ear
snakes down the street, in and out.

She rubs against the bundle in the doorway.
A thin hand reaches out from the rags.
But the window is closed,
I can't hear! I can't hear!

But maybe a voice, rusty with abuse,
tells her she's a good cat.
Whatever, the cat struts on, tail high,
painting the street with sunlight.

Added: 15.12.2009

Judges' comments on this poem


"rusty with abuse", love that sound.


Nice observation piece.