Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2010

Home is where the heart is.

by Marie Burrows

Chequered crinkled tablecloth
Rows upon rows of little plastic squares
Like brothers and sisters
The chips in the woodchip wallpaper
Lining the stairs with fraying carpet
Dust collecting in the nooks.
 
Cans of carling line the fridge
With tomorrow’s strips of fatty bacon
Olive oil with stains down its bottle
Kitchen tiles missing
Paint chipping
Rust and mould line the walls.
 
Special front room just for guests
Fading leather sofa
Hughes of beige dotted all around
Framed with the mark of cigarette smoke
Creeping up the walls
And seeping from the doors.
 
The showerhead hangs lifelessly
Limp
Dripping over more plastic squares insidiously,
Scum in the corners taking over
Soap tray caked in orange remnants
While the hair clogs up the drains
Stops the filth draining down.
 
The family photos watch on disappointed
Like the sponge trifle sitting in the fridge,
Next to the cold ham.
Clothes hang lifelessly from radiators
Suffocating in cheap washing powder
The scent of poverty
Strangling the house’s inhabitants
Who wear them with mustered pride,
Broken spirit.
 
Smiling faces on the TV taunt
The fragmented family watching them
Failing to emulate
But clinging onto togetherness
And the last shards of hope,
Fighting against the darkness
Which threatens to ensnare them whole.   
 

Added: 24.01.2010

Judges' comments on this poem

06.05.2010

I really liked this poem it's an very heart touching. its really great work.

25.05.2010

A bit too cliched for me, I'm afraid

28.05.2010

This poem is wonderful - you see, feel, breathe this humble home, with its despair tinged with the last shards of hope

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