Congratulations to the winner of the New Zealand Poetry Society Summer Instagram Poetry Competition for 2017/18:
Andrew M. Bell (@rotorua1957)
Mother, you gave me everything:
life, love and all the landmarks
of my moral landscape.
But I stand here with no talisman
to ward off your unseen adversaries.
You know what I know:
that your memory is failing,
chipped away by turns, small and fragmentary.
I cannot “make it better” by kissing away
your suffering as you once did mine.
Like some Mongol Khan in the ebb of his empire,
confusion has crept under your tent-flap
and you wake to find its clammy hands
around your throat.
The assassin should snuff the full flame quickly,
not this cruel trick
of letting your dignity gutter
while waiting for a merciful draught.