“Sonnet for the Hole in the Glass” by Zoë Brigley Thompson

Ekphrastic Challenge, September 2017: Editor’s Choice


Agnes Was Here by Jody Kennedy

Image: “Agnes Was Here” by Jody Kennedy. “Sonnet for the Hole in the Glass” was written by Zoë Brigley Thompson for Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, September 2017, and selected as the Editor’s Choice.

[download: PDF / JPG]


Zoë Brigley Thompson


You know the women through every manmade thing
that men have used to trap them: a van’s double doors
closing: a keyboard: letters lined up like crows
on telephone wires: barbs on a fence: a door that opens
to a queue of men: at night stepping onto a white bus:
that moment on the edge of what is about to happen.
In a cell, they choose between sex or jail: the cop car
where they apologize: thank you, Sir, thank you for not
booking me tonight: the papers they sign from hospital
gurneys: or the shiny, blue cellphone light that hooks
them onscreen like tiny, pink fish. Punch a hole
in the glass: cracks spidering: ice too thin to carry
the weight of men: one eye to the gap just
open enough for you to read their names.

from Ekphrastic Challenge
September 2017, Editor’s Choice

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Comment from the editor on this selection: “I’m always a sucker for sonnets, even free verse sonnets, and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a poet make such good use of enjambment. It seems an odd thing to praise, but each line of ‘Sonnet’ operates like its own wrenching poem, and the end of each line seems to twist the initial image deeper, so that each individual line is a ‘moment on the edge of what is about to happen.’ The poem embodies itself embodying the photograph—amazing. And unforgettable.”

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