Olga Dermott Bond 69
The Golden Shovel*
Sky the colour of a filing cabinet: I
wait for late Tuesday afternoon to peel
itself back to only its bare blue veins, and
etch a pale map to start again — this portion
of the day I weigh carefully — but there’s still a
chance of snow. The sun ripens late, a tangerine
bloomed with tenderness, as first flakes drift and
kiss with their trembling lips, gathering a cuckoo spit
of love outside my brightened classroom. The
students watch it fall like white noise, radio pips
that wrap them up against Shakespeare and
any heat of thought, and instead they wait to feel
each transparent rose that blooms wet here, the
beauty of petals against glass, a drunkenness
of minutes that are a framed ephemera, of
days melting slow.
They are too like these things,
a young collection of ragged and beautiful being,
impatient to fall and fly, to find their world various.
Olga is originally from Northern Ireland. A former Warwick Poet Laureate, she enjoys writing poetry and flash fiction, and has had work published in a range of magazines including Rattle Magazine, Magma, Under the Radar and Paper Swans Press. She is a teacher and has two young daughters.
*This golden shovel poem takes the final word of each line from part of Louis MacNeice’s poem “Snow”, published in The Collected Poems of Louis MacNeice. (Oxford University Press, 1967)