Winners 2015

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Max Thomas (Second prize)

Hampton School, Middlesex


Our father, who art not home, ran when I was three.
My mother’s heart is locked in love, her tears stirred in her tea.
What would you like for dinner dear? Every meal’s the same.
Cooking’s rather good for me! She slowly bakes her shame.

I can’t remember my own dad, but every day he’s here.
Bubbling, boiling through my blood. Is he the puppeteer?
I cut myself to set him free, the parasite who dwells.
Go! I say, I shout, I scream. He’s trapped within my cells.

Can a flower change its shade? Can a sinner learn to pray?
Pervasive, patriarchal thrust, that stains like Midas and his lust.
His cells pass on his DNA, if only I could break away.

This is his body. This is his blood.
Take them I’ve been given duds.
When I grow old, so does he. He’s in the mirror copying me.

My mother cannot look at me; she says I have his shark-like eyes.
He worms up through my spinal cord and uses me as his disguise.

I think we think it’s me who thinks, our speech in sync cells interlinked.
We are one. We wear my skin. Peel it back and you’ll find him.

© Max Thomas, 2015

Project Details

  • Date May 14, 2015
  • Tags 2015 Cells - Winning Poems