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My daughter's first eye test
My daughter’s first eye test
Colour of moth wing, faithful against a crush
of darkness, pupils dilated to harvest moons,
left eye struggling for the right, reaching
to peg words on a flapping washing line,
WV turned inside out, OQ made of restless
fuzzy felt, shapes of words humming
like saffron fireflies
Editor's note: Olga's poem was laid out ingeniously in its original form,
with nine different font sizes, each line smaller than the one before.
It's impossible to reproduce this exactly on this web page, but I've done my best!
About this poem
Every year, Poetry on Loan runs a poetry competition for people who live, work or study in the West Midlands. This year's theme was Vision, and the winner of the adult category was this poem - My daughter's first eye test, by Olga Dermott-Bond.
Olga is originally from Northern Ireland and read English at the University of St. Andrews. Her debut poetry pamphlet "apple, fallen" is published by Against the Grain Press. A former Warwick Poet Laureate, she has had poetry and flash fiction published in a range of magazines including Rattle Magazine, Dodging the Rain, Magma, Strix, Cordite Review, Under the Radar, Ink Sweat and Tears, The Interpreter’s House and Paper Swans. She was the winner of BBC Proms poetry competition 2019 and is a commissioned artist for Coventry City of Culture 2021. Olga was selected as one of the emerging poets for Bedtime Stories of the End of the world. She is an Assistant Head in a secondary school in Warwickshire and has two daughters. @olgadermott