Sheena Blackhall

Gold Star - 4,859 Points (18/8/1947 / Aberdeen)

The Bramble Picker - Poem by Sheena Blackhall

Her watch was hand-cuffed to wed-lock.
She was the pace maker. The peace maker.
Sleep was the anaesthetist, the only bolt hole out.
The walls were a silver screen,
Where silent movies mouthed a silent scream,
The death throes of an out-of-water trout.

In the dead centre of a field,
A scarecrow was being crucified.
Maggots moved in his eyes.

Somewhere a mill wheel was turning, crushing corn to dust.
High pylons marched up ferny hills...their edicts whined through lines
Fathoms of air below, a hare was cropping grass.
A fox was circling....Wicked streak of rust.

Taking a kitchen knife she carved the Tree of Life upon her arm.
Leaves, crimson berries showed.
How very strange that living blood still flowed!
When in her hollow heart, December snowed.

When neighbours asked, she blamed the branching cuts
On plucking brambles from their thorny bed,
And took to wearing long sleeved cardigans,
In Village-land, some things are best unsaid.
The mirror tilted. Her small world hung squint.
She was immured by bricks as hard as flint.
Like a grey she-wolf, her endurance milked stone dry,
Alone beneath a catacomb of sky.

Washing the plates in catkin-furry spring,
She gazed on her two hands within the bowl,
It seemed to her that both of them were dead....
As salmon, sinking sightless in a river.
This conceptual error, was the birthing of a most domestic terror,
All that was her, a thinning, dimming light,
Was swallowed by Un-Reason's frightful night.

Her bramble-picking's done, scar tissue healed, .
The mirror, straight. Its face so clean, so bright,
She's like a rag doll slumped upon the sofa, her stitches oh so tight,
In her left hand she holds a reel of thread...a needle, in her right.


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Poem Submitted: Sunday, February 7, 2010



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