Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011

FALLOUT 2nd November 1965 - 45 years on (after reading 'Held in the Light' by Anne Morrison Welsh about her family's journey to healing after her husband - Norman Morrison - set fire to himself in front of the Pentagon to protest the Vietnam War)

by Violet White

it was fatal

fatal

and defining;

one day this,

then that;

not just him, all of them, wrapped
into a vortex of the action,
 
a long confinement 



strangers in a careless land, 
they were never without the weight
of understanding,

biding their time amongst toyers with trinkets, 
their mouths were dry, closed
against glycaemic sweetnesses;

they harboured bitter herbs for a fulsome dish,
a flavour further on
and further in



from that fire's assumption
flowers fell from the heavens in a faraway place,
a sweet savour foreign to those skies,

those times;

burning
with those who burn

flesh

hearts leapt
in the flames that said you wept

cared

grief affirmed coalesced
incarnate shared

cost come home

loss

married to the lot
of a people unknown
become kin

dwelling 
for life
in grafted skin

Added: 30.04.2011

Judges' comments on this poem

05.05.2011

Poignant but not entirelyclear.

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