The Sussex Chanctonbury Cup 2017

1st Place – Juliet West of Billingshurst


In the cupboard under the eaves
there is a large box where you store
things she may need. Cups, sharp knives,
lemon squeezer, a pan for poaching eggs.

You tell yourself you will not miss
the late-night chatter,
the making of Marmite rolls,
burst of song on the landing,
the laundry and the lifts,
the last minute revision:
test me on Rossetti!
Come buy, come buy…

Today you find a golden candle,
fig-scented, shaped like an owl.
You imagine it burning on a faraway desk,
gilt-light on her pale cheeks,
the dip of the flame as it bends to her breath.

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