At the end
they brought lipstick
for mouths empty
of everything
lips pursed in the last bone-break
shit-pit fall
smudged red

a girl
not yet my mother
waited for her lipstick ration
the grief from Daddy

it came with gas
and pills
it came and stayed

my mother lingers
on to get her lipstick ration
she waits
for Daddy
till bone-break
her mouth empty
of everything
lips pursed
for the final
shit-pit fall

no lipstick comes

The English Association Fellows’ Poetry Prize 2007 – Second Prize Winner