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  • Jessica Norman

she leaves in the night.

She leaves in the night

With a passport and an empty suitcase.


She walks for hours:

And as the dawn rises, the city grows to meet it,

Stretching out before her

Like an open book.


Look: at the people:

For whom today

Is just a normal day -

She hears

Words she recognises

In foreign tongues -

Puts her ear to the ground

And swears that she can hear the city’s heart beat

A thrilling screech,

The dull thud of metal on metal.

She laughs as

she thinks of the stranger

She was yesterday

And what lies ahead.


She thought it might consume her, this life

Swallow her whole:

She wouldn’t be the first,

And for a moment she was one of them -

encoffined, until suddenly

it dawned

That she was free

Back on the dim streets

Which smell of takeaways -

Cheap meat and stale beer -

She lets the rip-curl carry her

Until the sky clears

And she sees:

Trees, miraculous

Brandishing their branches

In defiance at the sky.

She stands, dumbstruck,

The chalky blues and purples

Luminous, illuminating

This impure landscape,

Now wiped clean.


#poetry #London




 

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Photographs by Johan Persson 

Voices Off with Dr Jane Goodall photo by Manuel Harlan 

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