Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2010

Three in the bed

by Sophie Newman-Sanders

There were three in the bed, and the little one said,
     Roll over, roll over. So I rolled and I landed
        Crash on the floor, and my breaking heart split,
            And my soul bled, it bled.

I’m the scent you forget, the bottom rung on the ladder,
    The mug broken last winter, and your second best bed.
        I’m the third missed call, the last drunken survivor;
            The thrush lying dead on the granary floor.

In a parallel world I’m the alpha, omega,
    Not the frostbitten cab driver stood in the cold,
        Waiting for laughter and your face to land splat,
            Simper askew, on the rear view mirror.

Frozen in time for the briefest of seconds,

Until thunderclouds rumble and rain trickles
w down the glass.

There were two in the bed, two nestled comfortably,
    Unaware of the third lying crushed on the floor,
        Torn by rejection and piercing loneliness.
            Counting the spiders, those cruel savage hunters,
                Who lure their prey with diaphanous promises,
    Before ensnaring them, loving them gently to death.

Cautiously, now that the first is asleep,
      The second leans down, the one in the middle,
        And whispers, afraid of being overheard,
            I wanted to roll
In the other direction,
            But the little one pushed and you never protested.
            Aren’t you more comfortable there on the floor?
            Can you not see me? Don’t you know I would move
            Mountains to be with you? Wait! I’ll come down there,
I love you, my darling, I...

Suddenly, a murmur, the oily voice falters,
    Retreating at once to blend with the shadows and
        Placate jealous lover, for she rolled and she landed
              Crash on the floor, and her breaking heart split,
                And her soul bled, it bled.

Added: 30.04.2010