Summer 2003 Poetry Competition Second Prize

Damaged Goods

by Carol Wolrich

Email: carol.a.w@blueyonder.co.uk


What's this? It can't be.

I never fall. I never break.

I'm the flawless one. The

dealer said so; told them

when they came to admire me,

to offer to buy me. He outbid

them and kept me, pristine;

his precious glass figurine.

Always his, to have and to

hold; caged in a cabinet,

like a precious china doll.

He took me out and held me

up to the light; watched the

spectrum dance through my

unblemished soul; sighed with

pleasure at my purity, greedily.

Until his clumsy touch brushed

my side against the wall, and

cracked my outer shell. I thought

I was solid. Turns out I'm as

empty as a husk. And the dealer

is hollow too. What's this?

A drip of crimson. As if I've

caught a shaft of the spectrum.

But it's only a label, flowing

out my price in red ink - and

offers invited for damaged goods.

What's this? Tacky, red liquid,

trickling over my shattered skin.

The blood of the traitor. I've cut him.

©2003 Carol Wolrich

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