Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2010

The bed years

by Andrea Wren

She keeps company with Hollywood A-listers,
courtesy of Amazon. It doesn't come cheap,
but loyalty discounts brighten her day.
Flicking the remote, an umbilical cord resting on
goose feather and fleur-de-lys (empire and prison),
life is connected by Blu-Rays, and medication.

Head nods, heavy like a ripened watermelon.
Then jerks, jolting up - shocked back to reality
with the barrage of gunfire. Surround-sound,
it never ceases to amaze. Bringing a cinema
experience to days that film over into a slow
motion flicker of a past existence.

Fifteen years ago, she raced whippets with an
eighties pop singer. Now, extremities swollen like
pink party balloons, she takes parole when
morphine soothes the jailer. Black caves of pain
where her eyes should be, tell of dreams which
secrete sheets of perspiration in the dark.

How did it get like this? Malady lingers like the
Grim Reaper, skeletal fingers icily skimming
skin whenever sunshine hovers in the distance.
No one sends get well cards any more. Wet eyes
wander to four boys, adoration shining through
microporous gloss, and she manages a smile.

Added: 30.04.2010

Judges' comments on this poem


I can't touch on modernity in poems without losing something I can't quite define, but your poem is modern and I loved it.very well balanced


Great first line & great watermelon imagery in stz 2 and in stz 5 I liked 'skeletal...skin' & blunt 'no one sends get well cards any more.'