Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Maybe we’ll meet each other one day
and I’ll ask you why you keep that dried magnolia leaf
in an envelope in the drawer by your bed,
even though I know it is because
when the nights are that sticky, tarmac dark
and the muffled braille of traffic
draws you farther and farther away
from yourself, you might take it out
and bring it to your lips
and such a hush of silence will descend
down through your fingertips and up into your arms
at its touch, even though it’s brittle now
and so leathery it could break,
but you hold it cupped like water in the palms
because no one can see you
and bring it up to your mouth in a gesture of faith
and the leaf itself will never fail, ever, to release
that - was it May - afternoon almost drunk with pollen
flying crazily through the sun-spasmed leaves
- the silly dogs chasing their tails and sticks -
and the light as soft and gold as air-syrup,
and with your head nested
in that lap you were thinking then
this might even be that moment you could
hold onto forever, that moment
when you watched it fall
and caught it in mid air.

2nd Prize Ledbury Competition 2010

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