Longlisted Poem 2014

Jade Yan

Marlborough College, Wiltshire

Flowers in the House

So I heard you’re going back
to that place;

that gave you the chance to pay
for those bulging brown bags that
tended to fold and split.
So more often than not, you found yourself
with handfuls of chestnuts hot
as the coals they slumbered on,
tasting of grit and earth
and something else entirely (but not actually smoke);

that let you march defiantly along the street
with those charred
red pepper cars rolling past.
And then there was that anxious itch
of a blister who was always
‘new at this’ and knowing that
no burning questions would boil
the glass of water you spilled (quite accidentally);

that pushed you to crunch up the hill
through broken bottles and the tang of tabasco
and limes, and those exhausted neon lights
– because they slept at two and
woke at twelve –
when you could have taken the bus but you did feel a
part of it bent almost
double (in your delightfully laddered tights);

And well then you’re sitting in your room with an hour or a day or a week to go,
tapping your fingers all at once and making that sound
like horses trampling the questions you couldn’t do

or the car or the plane, breathing on the glass and dragging your fingers across it
because you’re so

and for God’s sake.  You just want to get there –

And you’re waiting for all those things (and how they make you feel)
but I know that (really)
you’re mostly waiting for the news that
well what if it’s all changed
(and how that would make you feel.)
© Jade Yan

Project Details

  • Date February 10, 2015
  • Tags 2014 News - Longlisted Poems