Saturday, 30 September 2017

Dear Lavinia

Shame on your boyfriend!
What’s a little bread knife?
And besides, what, exactly,
did you do?
He said he would tell your mother,
twist the screw,
his fingers going
like a second hand
on the skype screen
just because your habit
was becoming,
well, habitual,
though he saw how your hands
twisted on the handle
of the knife
heard you insist you would be
What a show it must have been,
when you lifted
the laptop,
and wrapped it around his head,
the way you’ll bandage a heart, no doubt,
when you qualify as a surgeon, soon,
your degree an unblemished
badge of honour still
because the judge would not convict
such a beautiful young prodigy
from Oxford.
If only he were as humane towards
the less privileged.
So this vexing day out at court
is just a brief havoc;
it will float out of the window
like light,
light as the blond shine of your hair,
away from the prying eyes
of the university panel,
leaving your character

© Afric McGlinchey

Why the Oxford stabbing student really is too talented for jail

Afric McGlinchey won the prestigious Hennessy Poetry Award (2011). Her début collection,
The lucky star of hidden things, was published in 2012 by Salmon Poetry.