THE FROGMORE POETRY PRIZE 2014

Vivienne Tregenza

WATER BEARER

for Colin, 5 Feb 1960 –

Not considering
the heat, the weight of water,
I asked you and you bore it

like a rugby ball, green and mottled, carried
in the crook of your arm
as you dodged the market sellers –

a thousand jostling eyes glinting
in the white glare of noon; a sea
of turquoise scarves shimmering in the dazzle.

Sweat-drenched, you lugged it
heavy as a boulder
up the hill to the dolmus

where you balanced your precious cargo
like a child on your lap.
         You came to me

bearing gifts of fruit; figs, cherries
and this water melon –
hard as an ordeal, soft as flesh.

Oh, what we do for each other!
The burdens we bear
         and everything we hold.



Return to Adjudicators Report