Winner: Georgie Woodhead,
Georgie Woodhead’s poem ‘Baba’s Burgers’ is the recipient of a 2020 Newcastle Poetry Competition Young People’s Prize.
She cups the chicken fat of her belly under her blue uniform
before stretching it down, pins back the tanned bread roll
of her earlobe with spat out gum so she can hear everything.
Then she reaches up to straighten a shelf of Coco Pops,
smiles as he walks past down the aisle brushing a hand
across her arse. She doesn’t turn – she knows who it is.
Later she’ll stand outside, bleach blonde and peach skin
doused in sticky vanilla, a red pimple like a fire ant on her cheek,
heels wobbling under the swell of her ankles. By ten
they’ll be huddled over the counter in Baba’s Burgers, giggling
as Babba flips her brown discs of meat like beetles on their backs.
They’ll watch we-mouthed as white grease spits out like foam.
Right then, she’ll be lightyears away from 7am, stacking tinned tuna,
wearing a name badge reading Fait because the h has peeled off.
The night is hungry, its tongue drools into the open doorway.
Georgie Woodhead, 17