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2nd prize - 2014

Photograph of Pat Jourdan

Pat Jourdan, from Liverpool, trained as an artist at Liverpool College of Art and has always combined painting and writing. Her latest publication of pictures is included in Onslaught Press's For the Children of Gaza, and she has also just published a third collection of short stories, The Fog Index. Author of two novels, Finding Out and A Small Inheritance plus six collections of poetry; winner of the Molly Keane Short Story Award and second in the Michael McLaverty Short Story Award. Her poetry and fiction has appeared in over sixty magazines and anthologies around the world. She is currently at work on a book set in Liverpool Maryland Street.
www.patjourdan.co.uk
patjourdan.wordpress.com

Going Home by Pat Jourdan

Packing-up time on the beach, dispersing from golden sands as rush-hour starts,
the day’s rounded, cooked golden,
all the family fussing over towels,
flip-flops, plastic bags, something always
about to be forgotten,
enjoyable panics, deckchairs that won’t fold up,
dramas, last minute bickerings.
Mother putting her foot down,
Father brought in to negotiate.
Sand between toes, special seaside grubbiness
and magic special stones.
The intimacy of dressing and undressing outdoors,
the kith and kin of it embarrassing and tender.

The donkeys know it’s day’s end,
traipsing back to their field, another workday done,
their lad a modern Piers Plowman with his satchel.
Eyes downcast they dimple across the beach.

Centre to all, and silent, a contented baby lies
waiting in the pram, absorbing
all the shopping-bag fullness.
Tomorrow fresh families will appear
full of beach-wide hope
past abandoned sandcastles
to belong here until next set of sun
in their haphazard gold kingdoms.




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