Tintinhull, by Susan Wicks

Susan Wicks is one of the Kent and Sussex Poetry Society’s most widely published poets, with collections from Faber & Faber and Bloodaxe Books. Her forthcoming collection Dear Crane is due from Bloodaxe in 2021.


Less than two hundred miles and a few hours
for us to leave our own half-sleepless lives
for a flagstoned kitchen where the ghosts survive
to scratch their names into the windows' glass.

The children spread their toys across the rug
in what was once the parlour, by a coal fire's blaze,
their wooden railway threading between chairs.
Outside, the bones of winter trees and shrubs

and under them these clumps of bell-shaped flowers
hang silent; in the still rectangle of pond
our selves walk slowly upside-down like flies

towards the garden plot where cheerful volunteers
straighten their backs in welcome, just beyond
the eagles perched on pillars, their stone eyes.

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