Winner: Anne Walsh Donnelly
It’s okay not to be okay
It’s not okay when my temples are clamped by a vice
shoulders list under a bag of slack
prune heart is stuffed with dead marrow
tongue turns ice-cream to grit
and I dream of drowning in white water rapids.
It’s not okay when people duck down
the hardware aisle in Tesco
to avoid meeting me at the checkout
or my doctor writes
I’m off work because of a virus
It would be okay if I could share my story
show you the crumpled autumn leaf on the pavement
and you would walk with me towards the first bud of spring.