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188th Weekly Poetry Contest winner: Limited Edition

by JP Davies

The sea loathes the iron men,
seeking to rust his replicas
sunken in shore, marking his years.

The steadfast men a breakwater,
each age a serial-number
branded at the nape.

One howls mutely in its iron cradle.
Horizon blinds Eighty, a death-mask rehearsal.
Two tries to run, its head too heavy.

For his Fortieth edition
he cocked a finger and thumb pistol,
melded the iron gun to his temple.

Now Forty lies in the lolling dunes,
gaping at the bird-strewn sky,
crab emerging from its hollow skull.

Beyond his formative years,
the beach stretches statueless;
untainted sand doubts his existence.

Water rises to the hips,
sea blisters wrought skin;
breath trapped in the iron ribs.

Bones dissipate, rust creeps,
until even the tallest he ever was
disappears beneath the iron sea.

Published in 'Crossings Over' (University of Chester)

See all the entrants to 188th Weekly Poetry Contest