Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2010

The Best Nights

by Dee Connolly

Oops, don’t open that window, it doesn’t shut
and we’ll have to climb on the ledge outside
to give it a thump.
Best not put your coat in that wardrobe, it does get damp;
we’d have to stick it in the machine
on the quick wash.
There’s a knack to this shower, push the handle until it cracks,
then back again before turning both taps
and whoosh.
Remember to put the bung into the blow-up bed
or your right leg will be sore in the morning, pumping for hours,
air escaping.
Here, do you want a cushion to go under your bum?
The spring sticks out a bit on that sofa
and the wire pinches after a while.
Would you like a chip butty
and a bottle of French beer?
We’ll put some music on and drink
and sing along, even if we don’t know the words,
and we’ll remember this
as one of the best nights.

Added: 07.03.2010

Judges' comments on this poem


A strong colloquial voice. I liked the contemporary detail. Some lines begin with caps, some don't. Was this deliberate?


Works for me because of its proximity to the central paradox of life - often when it's least promising, the greatest benefits results...