Poetry Winner 2020:

Love was almond shaped by Denise O'Hagan

Love was almond shaped

On sultry summer afternoons

When we sat outside in slatted light

With geraniums and the last of the washing

High above the eternal traffic noise

And other muted noise of the Eternal City

As she taught me how to crack them open

Holding both my hands in one of hers

Steadying my palm, spanning my fingers

Across the stern metal jowls of the nutcracker,

I'd squeeze and squeeze until each pitted casing

Strained and split at last, a rough unveiling

And I, the beneficiary of the sleek, sweet-tasting pods

Caught a blur of hair as she bent to scoop up splinters

Her wedding band twinkling gold,

My whole world ringed by that balcony.

Photos by John Fahy (dalkeyphotos.com) & Richard Johnston. Privacy Policy.

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