Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

Cosmo Davenport-Hines Prize 2024 runner up: Madeleine George

Madeleine George

Blackbird, Singing

This is the chronic night-war
and I
am waiting for the morning.

The earth shuddered
as she spun,
sloughing off so many sheets
of ice like
the sheet that caught on your shoulder
as you left the bed for the door.

I am trying to pen
my want
my longing
before they etch themselves on my skin
before they eat me alive
I tried
writing with the other hand.
It worked.

Waiting for a tulip
to open its hand to me,
as you did,
I would take it.

I am waiting for the morning.
For the spring.
For dawn to break viciously overhead.

The asp uncurls in the smoke-light. I know
that you’re not coming back. I want to be
sunburned in high summer, want the
mourning dove to lament with me, want
these serious things, their fragile song, I
to be dead by daybreak.
Sing for me.
I wait.

Somewhere, the river flows onward, bending,
leaves shiver in a sigh of the breeze. It is
someone’s first
and it will be someone’s last. And I
am waiting for the dandelions to bloom,
to rip them up at the roots
with my teeth.