3rd, Short Category 2010 - Chris Waters

Our Mothers Now

Day by day now
the mothers are leaving us:

paper-light on the draught
of a wing-beat,

casting-off the incalculable
weight of their stories,

they rise and scatter
into the illegible dark:

their pages flutter
beyond our out-stretched hands.

Judge's comment:

A subtly evocative lyric about loss that is very moving. The spacious form allows the white space to evoke the blankness of the loss which is picked up by the metaphor of paper and wings, and the lightness of the mothers’ departure. The simple language captures the despair and the mystery dramatizes a mind in grief.

Daljit Nagra