A winner of the Members' Poems competition in the Autumn 2017 issue of Poetry News. The competition, on the National Poetry Day 2017 theme of 'Freedom', was judged by Amali Rodrigo.

Cutting the Strings

by Patricia McCaw

I’m mute now in the public ward,
waiting, wanting at bitter last for you to die,
easy-out and instant
like a best-loved dog.

Your flesh is rusting iron,
the tang of borrowed blood,
sacs of it splashing your veins,
out again past the crippled backdoor.

Nothing can save you now.

Needle in, needle out, they sewed your suit,
filling flesh round a heart made huge by a hundred strangers.

I see your chest-bones, Dad,
sharp-arched, bare bones gone to earth.

I want to lift you hard by your heels, slapping the life out of you.

The Poetry Society was founded in 1909 to promote “a more general recognition and appreciation of poetry”.  Since then, it has grown into one of Britain’s most dynamic arts organisations, representing British poetry both nationally and internationally.  Today it has more than 4000 members worldwide and publishes The Poetry Review.

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