Winners 2010

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Katie Woods (Second prizewinner)

John Taylor High School, Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire


He found her spread on golden sand
With debris washed from days before
Upon the grey and slanted shore
By tide.

The grey-white shrug curled in her hand
Her breathing slow as if in sleep
She choked and burbled, tried to speak
and cried.

Inside his house she could not stand
The man who pinned her to his breast
Bound with a ring, denied her rest,
She sighed.

The wedding day, for sure, was grand
She walked the aisle with bleeding feet
And clung to him while in the street
No bride.

Each day she tiptoed to the strand
As in her belly Orca slept,
Half-wave, half-man who’d made her kept
and tied.

One night the sea was high inland
She swelled and burst with heavy child
With black eyes, purple, red, wet, wild;
It died.

Her husband sobbed that she was damned
He smelt the water on her skin
And heard the ocean wailing, thin
He’d tried.

He found the skin at her demand
She dived into the sea, she left
The man crawled home, his heart her theft,
To hide.

He found her golden wedding band
An afterbirth, a lingering curse
From promises of love to worse
She lied.


Project Details

  • Date February 10, 2015
  • Tags 2010 Promises - Winning Poems