First Prize - 2021 Tower Poetry Competition, 'The Key'


Dance of the Prisoner

Suspended in a slight bubble of glass,

Porcelain arms contorted unbearably,

I dream of being able to surpass

The imposition of that wretched key.

It turns. I dance. It turns. I dance. It turns—

This sentence in a spot I don't belong

sparked an insatiable fire which burns

Through freezing water. Electrified song.

I imagine words, and with no great haste

Sing to the tune: o, o, o, to be free.

No cure for a ballerina encased.

No respite from the merciless brass key.

Forever plagued by the oppressive sound

Spinning around and around and around.