Yesterday was National Poetry Day, which I missed, so I’m belatedly including one of my many poems written way back in 1988 which was published in an anthology as one of the winners in a national poetry competition.
Its sentiments are, I think, equally important today as they were then. I wonder what you think.OLD LADY, WEEPING CHILD, FOREST TREEOld lady half hidden behind curtain lace, arthritic prisoner at her windowsat there friendless etched upon your face. No family to tend and nursea discarded burden on the state. I, minding my own business, can no longerignore your lonely stare; so do not be surprised to hear the opening of the gate,a doorbell ringing, I asking neighbourly of anything you need orfetching shopping. I haven’t got a great deal to share only time passingthe pot of tea and kindness to show there are still people Who care for a weeping child huddled in a corner frozen blue with cold,frozen stiff with fear of a fist that beats; scolding for no reasonleft neglected, hungry; dirty the guilty secrets kept hidden lockedunder stairs. Screams at night, not silent, I can no longer ignore —I must be the someone who has to interfere to stop the cruelty a helplesschild is suffering. No more tears, for the hand now holding is of A friend who cares when forests are cut down, oak tree dead giving spaceinstead to glass office blocks in urban conurbation town with precinct square.Where Springwood Rise is only a name remembered up high on a toweringconcrete wall and people in their designer houses cannot recall what oncewas growing there? When paper is just a faded museum exhibition piecethe acorn I have planted in my garden will have grown and spread its seed.The news flashed on computer screens commuters daily read that mychildren’s children’s children will sit beneath the dappled shade to hearthe leaves whispering “Thank God someone showed they cared!”
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