Winners 2009

 - Download This Episode

Sophie Stephenson-Wright (Commended)

St Paul’s Girls’ School, London

Villanelle

We saw a nightjar on the windowsill,
flecked with sky and flustered where she lay;
the heart was broken, feather-small and still.

She wouldn’t fly, her wings hadn’t the will
to carry shaking hollow bones; I couldn’t look away
that time we saw a nightjar on the windowsill.

I thought I saw a heartbeat flicker, spill
into the February air and fall astray,
but the heart was broken, feather-small and still.

I’d never seen a broken bird until
that speckled soldier, daubed in gilded grey;
she’s just a nightjar on the windowsill.

Someone must have left her with a singing space to fill,
a star-struck voice; I heard it say
‘The heart is broken, feather-small and still’.

To break a heart, to steal it out takes skill;
I think I lost a little of my own, the day
we saw a nightjar on the windowsill –
the heart was broken, feather-small and still.

Project Details

  • Date February 6, 2015
  • Tags 2009 Doubt - Winning Poems