It has already been mentioned that Nola won this year’s Ripley Poetry Prize. Here’s the poem.
Where were you?
It came unbidden into homes worldwide
of anyone who happened to be switched on:
the motorcade as it wound its way
down Elm Street by the Book Depository.
In Jesmond it stopped short, a Friday afternoon
at the deflating end of day when
little air was left in the balloon –
enough to cook some supper, fish to fry,
wine to uncork and then sprawl on a sofa
to watch grainy footage of World War 1.
But long before we got to that there was
a scream, a girl, an Aussie cry –
raw as a dingo caught in an iron trap
icing blood in our veins, riveting feet –
howled without words or tears
the purest wail we’d ever heard
and yes, the President was dead.