At the stair corner where it turns for the attic
a shaft of sunlight strikes the step – only in June
for a moment at ten o’clock, just where sometimes
the moon looks in en passant
on its way to outer darkness.
Like neighbours who call by once in a while
to ask if we’d like a bag of runner beans,
tell news of their travelling son and ask after ours.
The swifts swooping under the eaves to a hidden nest
keep this a family house. From a top window
I watch the infant rowan berries bob in the breeze
and I sit for a moment on the attic stairs
to consider this year in its fulness,
before it slips away, one step at a time.
Jenny King was born in London during the Blitz and wrote poetry from childhood. She studied English at Cambridge, then taught it in schools, first in Shrewsbury before coming to Sheffield, where she has lived ever since and where she also ran Sticky Bun Writers for twelve years. She received an Eric Gregory award in 1969 and published a poetry pamphlet with The Mandeville Press in 1981. She has continued to write and publish in magazines and anthologies and came second in the Bridport Prize in 2003. Her pamphlet, Tenants, was published by Smith|Doorstop in 2014.
Midsummer collects Jenny King’s latest poetry and is published 1st February 2020.
||21.0 × 14.8 × 0.5 cm