2nd Place Poetry

Through a Lens in Omey by Paul O'Brien

I wish I’d been there, watching 

and oh so close in the Omey dusk, 

when, with her breath held 

and her finger to the shutter –

having lain in cover by the midden dune

waiting for the corncrake’s rasping cry

to betray him like an apprentice Romeo

sold out by the treacherous creak 

of a slack, sprung bed, and having seen him, 

daubed all black and rust and dun, 

hop from the sanctuary of the iris flags 

and strain his pliered bill to the darkening sky, 

as if to pluck from orbit the whetted sickle moon – 

she was too in awe to press.

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