Susan Wicks is one of the Kent and Sussex Poetry Society’s most widely published poets, with collections from Faber &Faber and Bloodaxe. This poem won first prize in our Folio competition in 2018, and is collected in her forthcoming Dear Crane, due from Bloodaxe Books in June 2020.
Don’t cry, darling. It does that,
falling on a skylight flake by flake
until the topmost balcony is blotted out,
the ash tree all but gone. It falls like rain
but white, opaque – and bit by bit
the grey goes black, so when the sun comes up
it’s shining through a wad of white
that melts to tears and slowly
slithers down the slate. But what it also does
is fill the holes, the pavement underfoot,
cover the rot, the criss-cross footprints in the mud,
the shit, the chewing-gum, the polystyrene cup,
the weeds, the blackened flower-buds
and highlight each recessive twig.
Between this square eye and its lid,
look there’s a trapped leaf, and green in it.