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The Sandy Eubank Memorial Prize

Kit Loney

 

Ballad

The thirty­seventh time you drowned me in the river

             Quiet singing of the leaves, how the sunlight flickers through


The second time you whittled out a banjo from my bones

             The echo of my voice in the cave of your heart


The time you died in battle, all my letters steeped in blood

             Fiddle walk flame, blackbirds ring the bell


When you hanged yourself because the oaks would not stop singing

             Mina Naomi my many names you know me


The time you crashed your motorcycle raging at the wall

             Five hard weeks of rain, weeping stars to wash the warning


Your promises and pretty mouth a hive of maddened bees

The sweetness and the sting I still carry into war


The wooden bed I languish on, the blankets stitched with lies

             The little nest of bones and fur the mouse leaves when it dies