Silence by Susan Mansfield – Joint First Prize

Not like the pent up hands of a stopped

clock, or the way a violin reclining

on a sofa holds the music of sleep;

not the phone which fills a room with its

not ringing, the blank stare which pushes

stories back into their books and slams

the covers shut. Not the kind of silence

which ignores the scent of bluebells.


More like the way the woman

in the painting holds the book

she is not reading, or the colour,

or the light falling through the window

behind her, shimmering with substance.


Copyright Susan Mansfield 2018