Justina Hart was short-listed in the 2010 Second Light competition and has been published in the Daily Poem column of the Independent. Having worked in national newspapers and online, Justina is currently writing a poetry collection and a novel.
When you flash upon me,
yanking the voice from my throat,
I’m usually peeling potatoes
or combing my just-woken hair
or, worse, in bed with my not-quite-lover
who’s helped pull me clear.
And you freeze me: peeler,
hairbrush, almost-lover in hand,
like that giant iguana I once saw
suddenly play dead, one foot high
in the air as if it was having a laugh,
not petrified, like me.
You rip all sound from the room
so it slips, cliffs rise, drop away.
There’s that pause when nothing happens
before everything does; and I’m falling
like David Niven in A Matter of Life and Death
when his bombed Spitfire plunges, and he pleads
to be spared – he loves the radio control chick
on the line he’s never even met.
Through the smoke and flames
I see, for a second, a reprieve for me, too –
if I had another life, I’d never walk out again,
leaving me and you just hanging.
Address: Lichfield and London
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