Ahead of this year’s Forward Prizes for Poetry, The Telegraph is publishing the five nominees for the Best Single Poem prize. Today’s poem comes from Fiona Benson. Born in Wiltshire in 1978, Benson writes with an eye for violent side of nature, and details her experience of motherhood with bracing honesty. Her first collection, Bright Travellers, was nominated for the 2014 TS Eliot Prize.

Ruins is “a poem that tries to look at a real, hardworking, postnatal, middle-aged body,” says Benson. “I like that while it starts with dismay, it pivots on the recognition of the lopsided stomach into a celebration of what the body housed.” It is taken from her forthcoming second collection, Vertigo Ghost,…