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My grandmother's old house

On my way to visit my grandson at his new school

I re-discover the old house

When the snow has melted to leave behind frost-coated grass

snowdrops peer through the cracks in the driveway

Each flower delicately curved like a fairy’s skirt

The front yard, where there was once a smooth carpet of blooms

is now a concrete ocean, all jagged and sharp

The tree’s branches droop under the weight of plump damsons

Sitting on my grandmother’s shoulders, I reach towards them

Sticky juice trails down my chin as I savour their sharp tang

Instead of the aroma of damsons dripping with juice

a putrid pang of petrol invades my nose

In the gentle light of summer, forget-me-nots gather in the garden

growing from droplets to ponds of blue amongst the green

while the scent of wisterias waft through the windows

and singing swifts soar through the sky

The hills around the house used to echo with birdsong–

All is silent now


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