We're very pleased to present runner-up Eloise Birtwhistle's Metastasis. Malika Booker writes: 'Eloise Birtwhistle describes nature and the seasons effortlessly, yet the title and use of adjectives like: heaves, bruise and rupturing combined with the line upstairs she rests, indicate a larger interrogation of nature, as a terminal illness that cannot be conquered.'
And then Spring heaves
blunt with life.
Untended, the garden
sweats wildflower: violets bruise
the lawn, forget-me-nots
rupturing pavestone cracks
their centres a needle of iodine yellow.
Upstairs she sleeps. The room hushed
by body's musk
a drawn dim that protects her
eyes from those shavings
of the season that slip
through the curtains: from our lips
as we feed her crushed monkfish,
recounting the day.