Sunday, 14 September 2014

Leonardo Poetry Prize 2014: Reminiscences

The Year 7 Leonardo Prize for Poetry 2014 was awarded to Alice Marchant for 'Reminiscences':

I started life in London
There were cars driving through the night
Rough houses on rough roads
Crimes were as common as streetlights
And the newspapers were thick with secrets

School was far too big for a small girl like I was then
Split up into numerous buildings on several floors
The stairs made my legs ache as I kept 
Moving up and up when I got older
The Thames was at my side as I walked to the station
And the trains were almost always delayed
People walking on the tracks again
Trying to get out of the mess they made of their lives

But with a few goodbyes, a delivery truck and a long car journey later,
I was gone.
I found myself in the countryside
The beach just a walk away
The night so quiet you could hear your dreams

From my bedroom window I could see the water
I lived just an alley away from my best friend
We would visit the meadow, yellow with buttercups
And swing on the swing over the stream,
Trusting it not to break.

My school was overwhelmingly tiny. 
I knew my friends like I knew my family
Which made our last day even more over-difficult.
We looked back at the good times
With enough tears to flood the classroom
We took pictures which we will keep for ever
And then we had to say goodbye.

When I am older I will look back at the memories
That make up my life
And smile. 

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