3rd, Short Category 2006 - Gail Lee

A Holy Marriage

I'm no angel you say, but I find
The orphaned, flightless feathers
Nestled in the shower;
The golden hairs scribbled on your pillow
And the shiny hoop-la ring on the bedpost.
The bed bears no body print
From one that strides on clouds
And in all of God's houses,
Your gaze guards me
From a thousand painted panes.

Judge's comments

This is full of fine images that both raise a smile and stick in the mind, but if I had a favourite it’s the "golden hairs scribbled on your pillow".

There’s something quite enigmatic about the last three lines, too. I’ve already read them several ways, and so this boasts the same virtue as the other two winners, an open-ness that keeps the reader’s interest long after first sight. That’s a difficult task to pull off in such a short poem, and so all the more praiseworthy.

Matt Merritt