I am delighted to come in second place in the Galway University Hospital Arts Trust Annual Poetry Competition (and I had two poems on the shortlist). Here is the poem I submitted:
This is not a poem
but a rain-soaked day keeping me inside
with you and you loving me like a storm.
This is a record of a hundred mornings
when the sun lifted above the stone hills outside my window.
This is not a poem but me standing perfectly still on the edge of the lake
in autumn, watching a hundred starlings like prayer flags fluttering.
This is my face buried in May’s first pink peony,
petals just now parting, eyes closed, inhaling.
This is the place where clocks no longer matter unless
it is the dusty gold watch which belonged to my grandfather.
This is not a poem but me standing desolate in a parade
of white gravestones, when a single bluebird lands and sings.
This is the bunch of Gerbera daisies you handed to me one foggy
February afternoon, pale yellow like the long-forgotten sun.
This is the first bite of bread after too many hungry days,
this is my grandmother whispering her secrets to me after dusk.
This is not a poem, but me taking off my clothes
and stepping eagerly into the cold mid-December sea.
This is the silence between breaths and in that stillness
this is me saying yes and yes and yes.
Christine Valters Paintner