November 2017 Winner

Rhinoceros Skin

Shaunna Harper

She beams,
and I hate every one of her lines.
The ones around the eyes,
especially, with their soliloquies of struggle and strife.
Her hands, once a boxer’s
or a dinner lady’s, now crumpled
and puckered like balls of hated paper.

A sixth, seventh swollen knuckle,
clenched into feeble fist,
a fist that once strangled obnoxious teenage hair
and stroked feverish babies to sleep.
Rhinoceros skin, a lion’s heart
and a skeletal core. Emptied
of seeds, nuclei and bile,
just an old haunting ground
where ghosts and the wind
come to chatter.

Please enter your details below to receive the latest news and offers from Creative Writing Ink.