WOMEN'S POETRY COMPETITION RUNNER-UP: LYN THORNTON
Posted on December 31 2018
Is this the hottest summer on record?
It seems so, day after day we are ironed
out under a steamy sky.
By mid July the rendering on our house
cracked from floor to ceiling, the well
in the cellar dried out, no water to catch
coins visiting children throw, their eyes
tight shut, wishing for wonders.
At night the garden swoons snagging
the slightest breeze, heavy headed lilies
lift, droop back. We skirt the dry grass
walk out into the streets, stand in long
shadows, breath thick air and, bat blind,
stumble back, hands outstretched, touch
stone walls, long for cathedral coolness
but all they give up is their heat.
Night after night we don’t speak but lie
side by side not touching
Lyn Thornton is a part-time University Tutor, specializing in Shakespeare, theatre, and 20th Century poetry. She has previously had her work published in Stand Magazine (2016), Ashmolean Ekphrasis Poetry Magazine (2016), and Oxford University Magazine (2015). She has an MA in Creative Writing from RHUL.
Carol Ann Duffy says: ‘Heatwave’ by Lynn Thornton is a very sensual piece – ‘heavy-headed lilies lift’, ‘breathe thick air’, ‘long for cathedral coolness’ – that uses a description of the heatwave to convey how a couple’s relationship has been ‘ironed out’, ‘cracked from floor to ceiling’.