Sun licks the gardens of Queen Square,
tall chimneys, smoke of bluebells, near
where Mr Eliot strolled to work.
He wrote the words which stunned me, when
he crossed the bridge with other men,
workmen's scuffed boots, short, polished clerks.
Sun races gravel. How might he
come back, as animal, today?
Forget the pigeon's swell and strut.
Would he be Queen Square's dapper crow
who prods mulch with a critic's toe,
coolly eyes blackbirds, litter, me?
Dived, in a warm but saltless sea,
dropped cackling from the lilac tree,
a sleek magpie, to noon's stern stare
Alison Brackenbury was born in 1953, and is descended from a long line of British shepherds and farmworkers. She may be Britain's only poet in a boiler suit, as she has worked for over twenty years in her husband's family metal-finishing business. Her most recent collection is Singing in the Dark, Carcanet, 2008. Her eighth collection, Then, is due to be published by Carcanet in April 2013.
Alison is extremely interested in poetry on the Internet. She publishes new poems via her blog at www.alisonbrackenbury.co.uk, and via her Facebook Group, called Poems from Alison.