Rachel Long

Photo Credit: The Poetry Society.

Rachel Long is a poet and facilitator. She was short listed for Young Poet Laureate for London 2014. She has been published by The Emma Press, Nutshells & Nuggets, and in the Clay Cargo 2014 Collection. Rachel is a proud member of the Burn After Reading poetry collective (BARPo), and is currently studying an MA in Creative & Life Writing at Goldsmiths University, London.
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"It is a real honour to win third prize in The Great British Write Off competition. As an early career poet, it is really encouraging to have your poem recognized - especially in a national competition. My cash prize will go towards the ever-needed 'time to write' fund."

My Heart

My heart is a mixed marriage.
Heart that wanted
to be white.
Heart that knows
it is black.
Heart like an east London council estate,
like a fist-sized window to the Thames
with barriers to stop
too much of it flooding into strangers all at once.
Heart that wanted
to love clean, like it had never hurt.
Heart that knows what it is
like to be made a woman at eight.

And it beat still.
Heart of muscle, so of memory.
Motor heart of repetition:
systematic, efficient.
Heart that beats without conscious effort
As if created for the task
of loving all things
that will blow it apart.
Elephant heart
that loves like she remembers.
Loves like riding a bike,
playing the piano,
like typing from the gut on a keyboard.

© Rachel Long, 2014

Published in ‘The Great British Write Off - A Way With Words’