MAG Poetry Competition 2010 – Shortlisted Poem

In My Pocket

by Cheryl Carman

In my pocket,
A foetus, as flat as an empty envelope,
 
Mine.
I cup my hand around it, in my pocket,
Giving it air to breathe,
 
It’s still alive, I think,
Viscous, a see-through seahorse.
 
I walk, through a rubber-wet night, out of season,
Car tyres sneeze, gutters gob,
Brown buildings gleam like polished shoes,
Alone with my pocket baby,
 
I pray my breath is contagious,
As a Chinese whisper in a playground
Or plump gossip shared by friends.
 
Back in my pocket, my hand stays cupped.

Added: 26.03.2010

Judges' comments on this poem

11.05.2010

Thought-provoking with beatiful imagery. The poem stays with me after reading! But why 'brown' buildings? I can't picture them.

12.05.2010

Striking imagery makes the theme of loss of an unborn moving yet unsentimental.

02.06.2010

Screamed quality and originality from within. Loved this.

15.06.2010

Very atmospheric. I especially liked the way the description of the feotus mirrors the woman walking in the wet street.

15.06.2010

Beautiful imagery - strong and sparse. Well realised, full of feeling.

20.06.2010

Terrific. Expresses wonder, anxiety, anxiety, hope, absorption - a foetus not a baby. surprising images, 'i pray my breath is contagious'

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