Winners 2010: First prize

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Emily Harrison (Winner)

Cirencester College, Gloucestershire


I’m sitting on the edge of something
When I promise to write you a love poem.
‘I’ll base it on Sonnet 130’ I exclaim as I sit down to write,
You answer in inquisitive ignorance,
‘Well, if it’s got more sequels than Rocky then it must be alright’.
You acknowledged my love of poetry
But it was the meaning you couldn’t quite catch,
It’s like that perfect rugby-player’s bent nose
That you say happened in a match
When you actually broke it in a childish prank
With only really yourself to thank.
But there’s parts of you too I don’t quite understand
Like how quickly you can find Alaska in the atlas
Or say all you need just by holding a hand.
You have this knack to spot a wonky picture on the wall
And say ‘it could do with being tilted to the left’
But feel no need to move it at all.
And you don’t think it makes a scrap of difference
In recycling to reverse something we had no part in,
So we raise a glass of cheap Chardonnay
To promises as empty as our recycle bin.
I say, ‘rather than poetry, I’d much prefer to give you a kiss’,
When secretly I’m thinking,
If you don’t get Sonnet 130, you certainly won’t get this.