Winners 2013

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Erin Tunney

De Lisle Catholic Science College, Loughborough, Leicestershire

The Devil

He can cite scripture for his own purpose
But his ears are too large on his jawline
He cannot share his newspapers or tea
Nor admit that both sides tend to brainwash.
His jeans fall low because those hips are thin
Which have led many a man down that path
Which is paved with good intentions. Many
Women, too. But such are seldom mentioned.
He makes work for idle hands – his, mostly.
Puts them to task in questionable ways
His wonders to perform; more artful than
Even that young fool, the Ancient Of Days.
He so often flirts with my bride. It’s fine.
She is still mine: and so, mostly, is he.
My dear independent self-begot boy
Beyond flirting and fighting and details.
He lies in my bed when I sleep in hers
Which is again just a detail. All fine.
He does not wear Prada. He wears red socks.
Details, all. I see him in all of them.
I fuck up his head with my books and hymns.
He fucks up my plans with laughter and song
With his cruel mouth and devil-may-care smiles
His mockery of the Church I once loved.
Speak of him and he appears. He holds it
Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven
And I have to pretend I disagree
And he has to flick dried peas at my head.
He renders unto me what is mine so
I give the devil his due as he lies
On our floorboards refusing to concede
That this our game is now rigged against us.
He will lose with grace, fall again like rain
As I am claimed victor by wrinkled dupes.
He can cite Scripture for his own purpose
But I can do almost nothing at all.

© Erin Tunney, 2013

Project Details

  • Date February 8, 2015
  • Tags 2013 The Details - Winning Poems