Housman & Me

Splayed like winter twigs –
my mother’s calligraphics
were tacked onto the wall.

I repeated the lines like ghosts
replaying a moment –
chewed on the words.

While the kids at school
had badges, hairbands, pencil cases,
emblazoned with their names.

A slither in a book,
found one lifeless afternoon –
its letters, stars in my eyes.

To think!
That I was the ‘loveliest of trees’,
charming in my Easter bloom.

‘To see the cherry hung with snow’,
reminded me of how I was named –
for all seasons of life.

Blossom in my brain,
my mother sat and scribed the verse
for my bedroom wall.

Housman’s cherry tree,
‘About the woodland’ and on the page,
captivated him and me.

Cherry Doyle
Poet of the Month June 2016

Published in The Poetry of Shropshire, Offa’s Press, 2013

Cherry tree
Extract from Housman’s poem in Cherry’s bedroom as a child.

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