Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2010

You

by Jack Pangbourne

I lie awake at night, thinking,
Wondering,
Wanting.
 
I hear my own heartbeat as I think of You, once,
Twice,
Thrice a second.
 
I see You the next day; You greet me with a friendly smile,
You know not of my feelings for You.
 
How I long to hold You in my arms, to feel You,
To hold You,
To feel your heart next to mine.
 
I drop hints of my feelings for You; I see no response. Will there be?
Did you pick up my hints?
Were they too subtle?
How I long for answers.
 
A small boy, I do not deserve a heart. I should embrace You.
Yet I dare not tell You of my feelings.
I do not deserve a heart. A heart is earned, a heart is not given, a heart may break but a pure heart does not break, it only grows with age.
 
I lie awake at night, thinking,
Wondering,
Wanting to tell You.
 
I see You the next day; You greet me with a friendly smile,
I tell You of my true feelings, the nights I lie awake through thinking of You.
 
You respond with that friendly smile as you break this boys newfound heart.
I do not cry,
I will not cry,
I shall not cry.
 
I lie awake at night, broken. I take the penknife; do I still feel?
The red liquid. It pours out. It is not mine; do I still feel?
More red liquid. It gushes out. It is not mine; do I still feel?
 
I go to sleep that night, no more thinking,
No more wondering,
No more wanting.
 
I do not see You the next day,
 
Or ever again.

Added: 03.02.2010

Judges' comments on this poem

06.05.2010

Quite a powerful piece of writing, but to my mind a slightly over-long poem that becomes a highly effective short story.

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