Winners 2011: First prize
Elizabeth Johnson (Winner)
Farlingaye High School, Woodbridge, Suffolk
Goldfinches wait in lines behind curtains.
One buzzes, others open hinges to the sun.
Each morning, goldfinches appear like obedient husbands.
They are here again. They know who gathers them.
I am trying, slowly, to shut them down forever.
They are all too filled with blistering flame.
On telephone wires, birds meet with brighter rays.
The rifle reddens their hearts
At the window each morning.
Again, I know it is my mechanism to break them.
Their shining cores colour the world,
For a moment.
How they are hurt and yet
Here they return, golden and dancing.