On the winter-caked lawn, snowdrops arrived first
like a spill of blanched almonds (or dew-drenched confetti).
The flood overtook them – not speedily – but worse –
despite the causal elements of wind-rich tides
and denser-than-usual rain – it came as a dead thing –
no pulse – cold and squat as acres of window glass –
a super-cooled molten mirror rising and swallowing
garden steps in small steps, sobbing through air-bricks.
Imagine the most unwanted kiss: a fierce tongue
which penetrates the loose fabric of your being.
Not only will you feel unclean. Pleuston –
a floating mass of microorganisms – enters in.
The rustic solid oak sideboard which made you
proud, grounded and secure, can’t navigate
the narrow stairs, stands foursquare in the ordure.
The world you thought was your dominion
is a wetland swamp we merely borrow.
After a stay of three weeks, even if the floods decline
and you search, less in expectation than in sorrow,
there will be no snowdrops, no lawn, no garden.
Flood won First prize in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly poetry competition 2014.
The judge was Will Daunt.