The Finishing Time

I enjoyed writing a poem for the Given Words competition as part of National Poetry Day. Five words were supplied which you had to include in your poem. The winner was a fellow Dunedinite Elizabeth Brooke–Carr who wrote a very good entry (which is now translated into Spanish) and who also had a poem in the recent Manifesto anthology.

However I was pleased to get a small mention in the Judge’s notes too for my entry. Here it is:

The Finishing Time

In life’s corner, you’re painted in.
You wait upon the finishing.
The burden of care is loosened,
the kaitiakitanga of your days,
of family, home, and work,
slips from you, slack and frayed.
In the finishing of things
each slim scrap of life claimed
exhilarates those who remain,
those who stay to walk in light
and struggle in their measure.
The lonely stuff of used up days
assembled in static display,
crumbs of biscuitchip grow soft
on the margins of an unswept floor.
Here in these dim latitudes,
time is a guttering match,
there are no more rooms left,
when the forgetting has begun,
and you await the finishing
to come.

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