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2nd prize - 2012

Photograph of Talisa Dean

Talisa Dean: I used to cry before spelling tests, and during. I still use a rhyme about birds eating crumbs to spell because. Iv never really got the hang of punctuation, recently graduated with a degree in english literature and still I'm left scrunch faced at the proper use of a semi-colon. That said, I have a mind that works overtime and feel things probably a little too strongly a lot too often. I know I'll never change the world but, even still, I dream to leave a footprint and a pretty one at that. Guess that's why I write.

Recovery by Talisa Dean

They took me in,
only told me when I woke up the next morning
that they'd plucked out the stiches,
one by one,
and let your soul go.
Someone said I'm in recovery -
must be the stark white sheets -
or perhaps I misheard and this is recovery,
a spare bed in a ward where they could get one,
because for sure, I'm in a steady decline.
My stomach is loose in my chest,
wandering the corridors,
and each time I coax a breath in,
It runs straight back out my nose.
The cafeteria is infested.
Fat, slow slugs move up and down the pipes at the back -
business has been slow.
And where my heart is? I couldn't tell you.
Sedated in a room somewhere next to a couple of wheezing lungs.
Or perhaps its done a runner,
back off home,
back to you,
And its taking the staff a while to notice.

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