Longlisted Poem 2011

Violet Macdonald

Home educated, Oxfordshire

The ruins

Once you were looking for something –
as if searching for the cryptic crossword scripted in my eyes.
I wondered where that other you had gone –
and who was this persona, left blindly searching pills
and 24 hour takeaways for life.

Once there had been the other you
who had seen so much of the world and had only just begun,
and now all that was left was the afterbirth, existing only to await its burial,
trying to find some way back to the shadows where it belonged.

You clung to something meaningless I said,
that you claimed contained the genesis –
the hope that was once bleeding through your veins was
slowed now, by the amphetamines.
The vodka dead stare of your crushed glass eyes –
broken bottles reflected back at me
all that I thought
you never would be.

You were smiling and waving and called to me
that everything seemed so simple now,
that finally you had cleared your head and
we could start again, the two of us,
just like it used to be.
But the vultures picked you out
and disposed of you in those poppy fields.
I smell the burning feathers
And pray it’s a phoenix.
© Violet Macdonald

Project Details

  • Date January 28, 2015
  • Tags 2011 Simplicity - Longlisted Poems