Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011

Mr ?

by Rachael Webster

The saddest thing was seeing his hedges grow;
spindly branches like malnourished limbs
protruding from the confines of the borders,
spoiling the edges of his once tidy garden.

No more clippers to keep them in order.
Without them the brambles and ivy advancing,
wild and unkempt as the old man retreated
back to his house, six foot deep in his armchair.

And sad it is that he remained there, defeated
by grass tall and weeds rife and bushes like bed-hair,
knowing that no one would tend to his hedges
and nobody knew him to scatter his ashes.

Added: 17.04.2011

Judges' comments on this poem


this is sad and touching and beautifully simple


Liked six-foot deep and ambiguous imagery. I'd lose the "sad" on third stanza though.


Deceptively simple, thoughtful, keeping a distance that matches the subject of the poem: I liked this a lot.