Harold Taylor Prize, 2017

Grandma Eats with a Knife

by Sophie Eden
 
She tests the flesh with knobbed fingers
short nails that don’t prick the skin
underneath like fat, giving slightly
 
Skin speckled like a lizard
Green bombed with yellow, orange
with red pink at the head
 
Blade as long as her pinky
The edge smooth grey
The handle wood with flat gold eyes
 
She dives the blade in
from the head to the bottom
Light orange water
 
And again she enters
Skinning with swift long strokes
till the meaty petals curl
 
She balances a block of flesh
on the flat of the blade
slides it between her lips
 
Her teeth slick the furry heart
tease the flesh and water
from the promise of more
 
She sucks the blade
dips her fingers into her mouth
Looks at Grandpa with flat copper eyes.
 
Grandpa tells me
Don’t run with the scissors
it’ll stab your leg
 
Grandpa warns me
Don’t lick the yogurt tinfoil
it’ll slice your tongue
 
Grandpa scolds me
Don’t lean back on two legs
the chair’ll fall.
 
I pick up the knife
and eat like Grandma.