Some orchards curve across countryside
or tumble down hills happy as boys.
This one has dips and hollows
no-one fills in, broken fence-posts, dead wood.
It has weeds and wild daffodils,
a clump of Highland Cattle
beneath the trees, warning off rain –
lonely, perhaps, so far from home.
An ancient orchard caught between urban sprawl,
the slippery smell of a toxic waste dump,
and close to where Fred West lived
before Cromwell Street.
I often think about those missing girls
never catching their buses home.
in a quiet place
with a solemn oath
of a stream
a hedgerow the length of a field
meadows wild and free
where skies fall into shape
is the last tree standing
a shiver of pink blossom
bark rough and ragged as a fisherman’s hands
a girl sits among its branches
like a bird
excited by the smell of leaves and rain
she’s watching out
for changing weather
with the arms of a panicked child
Belinda’s poems are widely published in print and on-line journals. In 2018, she came second in the Ambit Poetry Competition. Recently, she was joint runner-up in the Stanza Poetry Competition. She is also joint winner of the Indigo-First Pamphlet Competition, 2018, with her pamphlet, Touching Sharks in Monaco.