Mary MacRae’s second collection
published Aug 10 by Second Light Publications. See order form (pdf file) for discount offers
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Round 9, Month 10: Our judge this month is Hylda Sims and she has chosen Merryn Williams’ poem My Cousin, as her winner. The four poems she has commended are by Lesley J Ingram, Christine Michael, Pru Bankes Price and Anne Ryland
She came here–not to rest–to sweep the stairs
and empty chamber pots. The gilded chairs
still stand here, the enormous mirrors throw
my face back as they did hers, aeons ago.
Down these plush corridors she moved, her feet
not echoing–dusting, leaving all things neat.
Somewhere her midget room, a great way up
these stairs. Invisible beneath her cap
to Bournemouth’s guests, but I know who she was;
my flesh, my blood, thrown early from the nest.
A small skimped woman when she was alive,
all siblings lost, unmatched at forty-five.
No trace, not one. Still stands the Grand Hotel
but now she rests. Somewhere in Bournemouth still.
Not one duff poem here and as usual hard to choose. I’ve picked this poem before and must choose it again: Merryn Williams’ My Cousin, a beautifully brief, well-observed, illustration of poverty versus wealth, toil versus luxury, diligence versus decadence – blame my politics for choosing this important and timely poem as number one above many other, excellent pieces.