Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011

A Childs Lament

by anne byrne

Spitting streaks amongst the grey
This child dismays at youths decay
As subtle hints of change confuse
And whisper now of much to lose
As points and taunts at every tear
Through childish eyes churn up despair
The thread unravels from the weave
A fraying fabric no reprieve
And rushed refrains recite remorse
Hands meet in cold embrace
The scripted lines excuse discourse
And dirges take their place
Acridity of creed combines with scent of single malt
And murmurings of mundane things make light of deaths assault
And silver glints through curtains dark
A gleeful game of childish lark
Play hide and seek with cool disdain
A peek-a-boo of mortal shame
And the shell that shatters in the fall
And the bean that blossoms proud and tall
Both crash and cut in one great swathe
So too the spindle spurns its cloth
And susurrations slowly cease
Hands peak to offer praise
The host responds on bended knees
A box takes centre stage
Alacrity of rite ordains an ordered forward march
And shuffling forth a kiss is laid on cold amongst the starch
Amidst these things where all life ends
A child has mind to make amends
And so awaits in fateful turn
The mortal coil to catch and burn
Each measured breath a fragile thing
That drowns the flesh and sight grows dim
And sound recedes to thickened tones
All thoughts condense to earth on bones
But words wrap warm in gentle weave
Hands soothe in soft caress
And brimming forth from eyes that grieve
A loving tenderness
And surety of servitude to failings of the flesh
Rescind amidst the certainty that love will conquer death.

Added: 30.04.2011