by Neil Leadbeater

At Willington, in the hundred of Morleston
and Litchurch,
there are willows that grow aslant a brook
on the flood plain of the Trent. I went there once
to watch their slender, pliant branches
weep for Ophelia
but there were no crowflowers or long purples,
just a stretch of fishermen angling for a catch.
I must have been there for an hour or more
thinking about the slantwise willows
the way they were dreaming of ox-bow rivers—
facts out of geography I'd stored for later
to put in my school exam. There were
reeds there and cow parsley
whose tops were holed like kitchen colanders
face upturned to the sun
but my mind abounded in willows
for it was the willows that I had come to see
that hot afternoon when I baled out of school
and no-one knew where I'd gone.


Return to:

[New] [Archives] [Join] [Contact Us] [Poetry in Motion] [Store] [Staff] [Guidelines]