Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011


by Victoria Rose Poolman

The officious black shadow behind the door
Gave a warning of what was to come.
Mottled by a rippled glass panel,
Protective, but not keeping them entirely from harm.
The door opened up to what was true.
No words required.
Gloved hands,
Not unlike the ones which tried to stem the flow.
Uniform like the military precision
Which went out the window
When he thrashed,
As the dust blew east and they pinned him to the ground
Like a medal on bare skin.
Blood came,
Which the sand drank thirstily.
They handed her the letter,
Which he had never intended to be read.
She slumped against the calendar
With its neat rows of numbers and crosses;
Her countdown to another dead loss.
Stunned silence ebbed as sobs began to erupt from her chest
Heaving and flowing in time with the clock in the hallway.
Moved but still,
It was nothing they hadn’t seen before.

Added: 27.04.2011

Judges' comments on this poem


I like the mood of this - some images didn't quite ring true though, e.g the sobs to the rhythm of a clock; surely more messy and erratic.