Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Picked Too Soon

This poem was written for all involved in the Keswick School Bus Crash, 24 May 2010. It eventually won the National Poetry Rivals Competition 2012.


The A66. Here flowers lie
And weep among the roadside reeds.
The blackbirds sing their eulogies,
The trees shed sap – and all for these,
For buds imprisoned; petals pinned;
Enclosed in steel and blurring wheels.
The gardeners did not toil for this.
                               *
These poppy stalks and harebell shoots
Were tended by no trowels or spades,
But better tools: by home and school.
They germinated in the turf                            
Of living rooms and run-down parks,
Where rainy days would ripen fruit
And deepen roots. The yield was good.
                               *
The A66. Hemmed in by frost,
The blossoms freeze; the colours fade.
Next spring, the gardeners bear new blooms
And strew them softly on the earth.
The trembling hands and falling buds
Pay tribute with the silent cry:

Never shall we let our flowers die.

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