Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011

Litmus Test

by Suzanne Schenk

I held a cold mirror before you
To catch the breath of a lie
To bear out the promise
We once uttered
I crafted rhetoric
To test honesty
I lied to exact the truth
I interrogated you in the night
Tracing your pulse
With polygraph fingers
I raged in mock fury
I fawned in false affection
To witness your countenance
For two years
I carried out a furtive inquisition
Holding your heart to the flame
And every time
Every time
You answered
And every time
Your eyes betrayed you

Added: 21.04.2011

Judges' comments on this poem


Beautifully crafted poem, read it several times and took something new from it each time. Easily accessible with clear imagery.


Love the title.


Love the last few lines, written in an intriguing manner, enjoyed reading it


Chilly, spare and true. And a nice sense of an unreliable narrator.