“Bottles born to shatter” by Elizabeth Bernal

Poetry Pause celebrates the winners of the 2024 Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Prize for young writers! Read “Bottles born to shatter” by Elizabeth Bernal, third place winner of the junior category. Due to its formatting, this poem is only available as an image.

Bottles born to shatter

By Elizabeth Bernal

Hold me
                            like the love you lost
Hold me
                            no matter the cost
Hold me
                            like the man you miss.
                                           Don’t say his name, just reminisce

Oh dad

Another bottle on the shelf

Born to fall

and shatter                      like the rest.

Bottles and bottles of Jack we drank
One more bottle,           one more bottle.
Till we reach farther, oh father,

The bottles he drank, fell

and shattered.

Each bottle drank, is a bottle born to shatter
How can you live when your life’s
                                                                    so scattered?
Pieces lost.                     Fabric holes.                  Wind-blown ashes.

Stories untold.

Bottle by bottle
Drink by drink
Dad, oh dad, another bottle on the shelf

Shattered. Before he could get any help.

Copyright © Elizabeth Bernal

Elizabeth Bernal is a grade 9 student. Elizabeth’s poem “Bottles born to shatter” won third place in the junior category of the 2024 Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Prize.

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