Winners 2017

Freya Gray Stone (Commended)

Bristol Grammar School

I am a river

On a walk you met La Seine,
I am a river, she said.

People are always so desperate to be something,
You thought. You want to be taller.

I am a stone, you offered half-heartedly,
Je suis marbre, je suis de la craie.

But chalk washes away, she said. Marble cracks.
Most people would prefer to be diamond.

People are like rivers, you said, constantly running
No-where. And diamonds just gather dust.

Rivers go to the sea, she said.
Only to find themselves in streams again, you said,

Fiddling with split ends, like tributaries branching.
Biting them below the split, you considered being a river.

Deciding it’s not for you, you make to leave.
Please don’t go, La Seine murmurs quietly.

What would you have me do? you ask, shrugging.
Qu’est-ce que tu veux?

Leave me something to remember you by, stone girl,
N’importe quoi. She shrugs too, if a river can.

You think for moments before
Pulling sea shells from your raincoat pocket.

You toss them in, light tiny treasures. Totems.
Take them back to the sea for me, you whisper.

But she doesn’t answer.
The shells have already gone.

Project Details

  • Date April 6, 2017
  • Tags 2017 Stone - Winning Poems