Hail hard in our faces, sun in our eyes,
we push through brambles, past the dovecot
and piles of tumbled bricks, driving deep into
the heart of the wood. Long before the house
burned down, someone planted daffodils here
and every year there are more, seen only
by those who still remember where to look.
Around the empty walled garden, bastard
fruit trees shoot upwards from ancient rootstock,
foaming white, but there will be no fruit,
unless we bend to read these faded labels
beside each shadow tree against the stone,
unless we plant again to face the sun
with Concorde, Harrow Sweet, Laxton’s Superb.
Louise Walker is a poet and teacher who lives in London. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in anthologies by the Sycamore Press and Emma Press, as well as journals such as South, Oxford Magazine, Acumen, Second Chance Lit, ARTEMIS and Dreich. Commissions include Bampton Classical Opera and she was Highly Commended in the Frosted Fire Firsts Award in 2022. She is working on her first collection.