December 2018 Winner

The Snow Hulk 

Ruth Taaffe

I’m in the front, Mum sits behind with both

my sleeping sisters, flaked from Auld Lang Syne.

Snow scraps hurl like curls of peel, fling themselves

into the windscreen. I can’t believe how

secret the cautious, clotted streets appear. 

The year is closing. The world’s transforming.

Our garden, dressed like a stage set, awaits.

The idea takes. We’re piling, shovelling,

We are like frenzied Frankensteins: intent.

But this snow man is only half monster,

arms bent in rage and towering so I 

can’t reach to hang his hat. We sometimes thought

of you like that. You lift me up to press

his coal black eyes. I prayed he wouldn’t melt.