2010 OPEN COMPETITION
2nd Prize: £75.00 - Jennifer Copley, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria
A woman I do not know, is walking.
In her bag she carries a picture of God,
a piano, hypothermia, her mother’s goulash,
eternity in a five strand necklace,
a foxhole, an eclipse, her duty,
her concentration, a pool of brackish water,
her heartbeat and his heartache
and an envelope addressed to the next place.
The strain on her shoulder muscles is great
but she’ll keep walking until she has visited
every house where a woman lives.
I watch the back of her head grow smaller
until it is a dot on the flanks of our fell.
Soon she will reach the top, drop down
into the secret streets of mining villages
where daughters belong to their fathers.
Coal dust under the fingers.