We received many worthy entries to our Poetry Prize contest, but in the end we could only choose one winner. It gives us great pleasure to announce the winning poem, ‘Woman’ by Therese Pace.
To her, Nature has been kind and cruel.
Fitted her with a heart that walks her
strong, fragile, her soft pulpous endocarp
tender with pain, flexed with resilience.
In her special ordinariness she watches
the world go by; suffers at its hands;
appeases, dispensing with favours like
bucketfuls of rain upon the sidewalk.
A buttress, earthquakes will not shift her.
Grappling, she vigils on midnight fevers;
dims, recedes, draping her corporeity
around her sentiments like a tee shirt.
Her kinkiness has punch. Her dignity
is weighed with mien. She carries creation
on her navel like a pinafore. Man installs
himself in the palace of her heart like
original sin. Because of him she grows
boughs upon trees, reaches for the moon;
dwarfs, thrifting on choices and desires,
learning to soar and nosedive.
Her breasts are milk and honey. On them
she wears her talisman like a scimitar,
her paradox like a broach: lantern,
olive sprig, sponge and kernel stone.
You can watch Hearth by Claire Power, the video that inspired the poem, right here.