'Zebra on East 55th and 3rd' won the 2016 Hamish Canham Prize for the best Poetry Society Members' poem to be published in Poetry News. Also a winner of the Members' Poems Competition on the theme of 'Magic', judged by Anne-Marie Fyfe.

Zebra on East 55th and 3rd

by Ian Humphreys

Unfazed, he grazes on popcorn and nachos
from a Keep New York City Clean litter bin,
shrouded in a canopy of cloud that leaches
through the steel bars of a subway vent.

Sneakered commuters steam by, too busy
to notice, too drunk on mobile devices.
Outside P.J. Clarke’s, a woman’s whistle
lassos a yellow cab, hoists it kerbside.

Brooklyn, she snorts to the Iraqi driver.
The zebra lifts obsidian eyes, squints
at the transaction, the tap of a Yankees cap
and brays. His tail flicks sparks of iridescence

at the dark carcass of a neon sign advertising
 old Beer by a 24-hour liquor store. It lights up.
He trots to the pedestrian crossing,
waits for walk to burn white and vanishes.

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.

With innovative education and commissioning programmes and a packed calendar of performances, readings and competitions, The Poetry Society champions poetry for all ages.

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