Winners 2013

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Luke van den Barselaar

Colyton Grammar School, Devon


Deep in morphine sleep you lie
As I prepare myself to try
An operation on perfection;
An experimental love dissection.
Science will at last explain
Why loving you causes so much pain.
I split and peer inside a hair.
What small detail lies in there?
What tiny difference lets you twirl
It round your finger in a curl
With such unique allure:
With each test, I question more.
I operate around your eyes
And still new mysteries arise.
The iris, iridescent blue:
How do you see straight through
Me to my raw and pleading soul?
My ministrations take their toll.
Scalpel slides through slender hand
In my quest to understand
Why your fingers’ feather-grace
So totally roots me in place.
But bone and tendon lend no clue
To the anomaly that makes up you.

I hold your beating heart, meat-wet,
Searching for the veins that let
You feel with such impassioned force;
This crimson spring must be its source.
The thumping beat begins to slow,
But still I have nothing to show.
The reassembly can begin.
And as I repair your perfect skin
I suddenly become aware
That it’s a body, not a person, there.
Look at where research has led;
The things that made you you have fled.

© Luke van den Barselaar, 2013

Project Details

  • Date February 6, 2015
  • Tags 2013 The Details - Winning Poems