Anne Ballard, Poetry.

What We Take With Us

We never expected green fields

would be important, or lambs,

in a place where they didn’t raise sheep

and kept livestock imprisoned.

We had taken landscape for granted,

assumed all countries had hills,

high moors with gorse and heather,

coastlines of cliffs, mudflats, dunes.

We wished we could have packed snowdrops,

the scent of bluebells,

that sewerish pong from the beach,

the grittiness of sand between toes,

seagulls, the taste of freshly-caught fish,

the sound of the sea.

Mother had saved toys and trinkets:

The small things that mattered, she said.

But we wanted none of them, weren’t concerned

with such meagre possessions,

when loneliness crept in like the dark

over the long flat plains.

About the contributor

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