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3rd prize - 2013

Photograph of Corrinna Toop

Corrinna Toop first began writing poetry and short stories about four years ago at the tender age of 43. Since then her work has won or been placed in nearly 40 competitions and has been published on-line, in anthologies and in magazines. Corrinna lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and two children and works full time in the financial services industry.

Bobby Driscoll by Corrinna Toop

In 1968 Bobby Driscoll died aged 31 in poverty after years
of drug abuse. As a child he was the voice of Peter Pan in Disney's
film of the same name. He was buried on Hart Island, where the poor
or unknown of the city of New York are laid to rest, many of them children.

Peter Pan is buried in a potter's field;
or at least his voice is.
Unclaimed and unremembered
lost in the Neverwood.
He forgot to think of special things,
so the fall from the sky was inevitable
when the green suit didn't fit anymore.

Tinkerbell doesn't sprinkle the dust,
just the inmates of Rikers with their earth movers,

Five hundred New York infants every year,
lost to mothers who have no money,
no thimbles
and no choice
but to agree to a City Burial.
Stacked five coffins high and twenty across,
unmarked, gull-spectred pits,
subterranean building blocks of pine and flesh
create a wall where no Humpty Dumpty sits.

A suitable place for him to lie -
near those others who didn't grow up.

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