Longlisted Poem 2014

Jemima Childs

Ysgol Greenhill School, Pembrokeshire


She filters through his life like the dust storms of the 1920s.
Fire is her instinct. And she is the tigress,
cloaked in the rebellion of a thousand
poachers’ blood, dreaming of the savannah.
The table top mountains are her home,
where she flies with speckled feathers in her hair
and scars on her back.

He never stops loving the way she carves her nails
and uses her footsteps as music. Song is her soul.
But the devil plucks her harp-stringed dance,
and she lives for the sun in the east, and the rapids,
and the zephyrs that carry ancient news of her ancestors.

He can’t give her the feeling of running
barefoot through foreign plains. He can’t
give her back her past. She hungers to live like Red Indians
so her tribe, suspicious and militant on horseback,
drive him away until his pulse is a drum beat.

Her love blisters his heart:
a razor through a pomegranate.
© Jemima Childs

Project Details

  • Date February 10, 2015
  • Tags 2014 News - Longlisted Poems