Monday 25 December 2023

Poetry 2023, Second Prize, CJ Anderson-Wu

Your Body Is Your Elegy

Last winter, our troops withdrew in a great haste

without time to serve you a decent burial

This summer, we marched back

without finding the cross

we hurriedly erected for you

After the snow melted

you began to dissolve

in the warmer wind blown from the south

in the chirping of birds returning

and during the convalescing soil's awakening

You exist within the stipa grass

among the mallow flowers

and amidst the spruce saplings

Embracing the revitalized forests

You manifest as the gradually expanding streams

meandering across the healing earth

unfurling and growing

You are the glistening reflections of

rippling water

subliming in the air

we breathe in

As we continue to march forward

ready for our counteroffensive, you

transmute into mist, moistening our parched lips that

whisper a hymn

Your memorable elegy

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