Longlisted Poem 2014

Mary Flanagan

Stonyhurst College, Lancashire


“to repair with gold”
You have news, brought in your ageing hands,
But spoken softer, a baby’s babble,
Quick and childlike chatter
Til your words fail.
You get to your point, so sharp against my breast,
Seeping cold down to my lungs
Til I breathe and feel them shatter,
And my unmarked chest is left indented.
Your point, too stark white to be metal,
Is a broken piece of pottery,
You speak it and I am ruptured,
Til your words halt, a stuttering.
Yes, I hear your news and am fragmented.

Fragmented though I am, with my glaze part cracked by grief,
More intricately I will be re-formed,
Cold blowing years will flow over
Me like sweet and molten relief,
And after this most piercing of winters,
I will again be warmed,
Warmed where I was once seeped through with cold,
And the glow and glint of my skin will tell that
I am repaired with gold.

When you, my friend, hear news
That leaves your porcelain chest indented,
I’ll give the jagged lines upon my face for you to feel,
Take from my flesh the knowledge
That you too will be remade,
With skin of golden sunlight and bones of steel,
Through the coming winters of time,
Though scarred, your scars will fade,
Yes, you will be mended
And your jagged skin will shine,
So hear this news and shatter,
For you will be augmented.

My friend, do not fear the broken shards of cold,
For I will melt the time of years
And pour it upon your soul,
And fill up each and every crack
With gold.
© Mary Flanagan

Project Details

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