Twelve-year-old Jolina Bradley is a student from last year’s First Story group at Wapping High School, which was led by poet and playwright, and former Foyle Young Poet of the Year, Caroline Bird. This year, Jolina follows in Caroline’s footsteps as she has been Highly Commended for the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, one of 85 poets selected from over 10,000 entries from across the world. This is an incredible achievement, and we are delighted to celebrate and share Jolina’s poem with you.
The adagio was soft pecks
on cheeks, sad ointment,
A tender brush of keys, semi-staccato,
Like firing a gun with wet gunpowder,
Or lighting old candles,
I guess you could call it raw.
Beautiful. The ballerina creaked
as she turned oh-
(hush on the stage)
The stroke of a finger on a kitten’s ear.
Can you imagine such slender hands?
Nails clipped to imperfection,
gracefully carrying the burden of touch,
the contact between the instigator
and listener. She is a swan
in mid-air. We are held
in the juxtaposition of her flight.
You have to be strong to be delicate,
to hold such loose matters in place.
Glass is not fragile at all.
Read all the Foyle Young Poet of the Year Award winners here.
To download a PDF version of Jolina’s poem, click here.