Winners 2001: First prize

Rebecca Dudley (Winner)

High Storrs School, Sheffield


There’s a blue light shining inside me.
Peculiar I know.
Often it will just glow, like the crushed embers of the
I crave such pleasantries.
Then, like the surprising contractions of spring,
Its strength reflects.
Hitting the rafters of this world that has suddenly
become so much smaller.

I’m stopping for a pregnant pause.

Sitting back down,
My body tired and tested,
I curse.
I should not be doing this,
This cannot be me.
Occupied by the shadow you will never stitch.
The test continues.

I stare at my feet,
Chipped aquamarine.
It complements the space that is your eyes.
The tarnished lack of light that is you.

Because I never said.

Laborious minutes turn,
Sympathetically smile at the inconvenience.
A fragmented lottery of names filters past.
Each tag eager to become and consume me.

As my world hesitates to expand,
White pages, yet to be devoured by painted memories,
(me, cap and gown, drained in black),
Remove the afterthought.
They lose the tint that clutches,
Like a mechanical image preventing sleep.

I place my hands on my stomach, and cradle your
unallowable self.
Your cries wait, expectantly,
To tear through this now breathless room,
Not irritable, but pathetically pitiful.
Like the abandoned wails of Deborah Doll,
Packed off to jumble, simply forgotten.

But you, who will never know, understand.
Just because you cannot.
I decide how you will never be constructed.
The dullest starlight, joined with our petal-shaped
Never his.
Contracting, following a well rehearsed practice.
From the time before.
As the line of your unlife
Finally decides if it will revolve the world around my
carefree head,
And place me back at base, lightless,
I take another pregnant pause.