Clare Marsh

DROUGHT SUMMER

In the Garden of England
colour leaches from the landscape.

A grass snake skulks motionless
among dinner-plate lily pads,

black bead eyes alert for prey.
Torpid fish gasp on the oily surface.

Apples burden orchard boughs
hopbine tendrils twine round wires.

Time becomes suspended by dread –
while your young life ebbs

measured by morphine.
News of your death

Now to be forever linked
with our first glimpse of the deer –

pricked ears, tails flicking
among bleached grass

as a thunderhead
towers over the Weald.


Drought Summer by Clare Marsh was highly commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (October 2020) judged by Roger Elkin.


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