Annette Cameron Encouragement Award for Unpublished W.A. Poet (2021)

1st place ‘Impossible Jeans’ judged by Caitlin Maling as part of the Katharine Susannah Prichard Poetry and Prose Competitions 2021

Read judge’s report here

Impossible Jeans

After Denim Day

It creeps. Rifles her body−absolves blame,

nodding assent to her undoing. In jeans,

solidarity surrounds wounded fruit,

hounds’ bare teeth outraged by unjust decree.

A protest captures wind change in ancient

Piazza. A limpet undone, traction

lost to wayward nerve. They all wear jeans

disrupting parliament, dissidents bay

in protest of the judge’s verdict−that

it’s impossible to rape a woman

wearing jeans. It annihilates. Raided

fabric plunders breaching boundaries of

what little flesh. It insinuates. Frayed

breaths whisper−a culprit of poor choices.

Her body is sacked, Rome is in ruins

legitimising lawlessness. Undone.

She bears slander−bequeathed shame.

Cheeks turn raw and razed. He flees pardoned.

She seeks asylum−back against sullied walls

to lean. Uneven bird shit drips, stains stone

paths piercing soles of unsupportive flimsy

sandals. Judgemental leer points, penetrates

resolve. The bench marks her jeans. Undone.

Even in jeans.

The Ballina Region for Refugees Seeking Asylum Poetry Prize

Highly Commended for my poem ‘the stranger’

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