2019 First Place


by John Foggin

That boy on the quay
who pulled a monkfish gaping
out of the dirty harbour water,

who did not know what to do
with this thing on his line,
all spine and mouth and under-jaw,

a sprung poachers’ trap
that would bite off the end
of the Ferryman’s oar,

a thing to appal
the langorous dead
in the ashy lands,

turning slowly in the air
that lived on things
that life had done with,

something beyond the boy
that wouldn’t let him
cut the line.