The George Crabbe Memorial Poetry Competition
2006 Crabbe Memorial Competition – Third Prize
Adjudicators: Neil Powell, Andrea Holland

In the days when the house enfolded us
within vistas of passages, each room opened out
like a bright fan. Bowls of white roses reflected
in a world of mahogany tables.

Our chairs were thrones. In the minstrel gallery
we plotted the summer’s grand manoeuvres
as needles of sun embroidered maps
on the walls of the hall far below.

There were entrances framed by oak sills,
carved lintels, announcements of thresholds
we never saw, lapped in our armour.
We galloped through.

Only at night, in sleep, we began to hear
beyond the cistern’s occasional gurgling
the faint percussion of doors slowly closing
in far-off wings we had roamed.

Copyright © Jill Eulalie Dawson 2006

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