Suspended – James Knox Whittet

The George Crabbe Memorial Poetry Competition
2008 Crabbe Memorial Competition – First Prize
Adjudicator: Graham Fawcett

As we wake and listen to each other’s breath,
we sense the words before they are spoken
when snow falls and stills the motions of the earth.

Across smothered fields, lit with sun, a wreath
of peat smoke rises like some scented beacon
as we wake and listen to each other’s breath.

Pheasants leave faded footprints on the path
to the wood where rigid limbs lie broken
when snow falls and stills the motions of the earth.

Along the floor, a shadow falls like a wraith
and I feel your arms around me weaken
as we wake and listen to each other’s breath.

No reflected flames unsettle the hearth,
unswept ashes slowly chill and deepen
when snow falls and stills the motions of the earth.

In love’s suspension between birth and death,
we draw together with each breath taken
as we wake and listen to each other’s breath
when snow falls and stills the motions of the earth.

Copyright © James Knox Whittet 2008

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