Kezia Gaitskell (Commended)
Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls, Elstree
The day we meet,
Your small pet rain-cloud brushes my cheek
And waters my Caesar salad.
Hour by hour the rain-cloud grows,
Darkening to a grouchy grey.
One day, it summons up a lightning bolt
And electrocutes my cat.
When I chastise it,
It takes up residence in my roof, coming
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain.
The waterlogged house begins to crumble,
For the rain it raineth every day.
I suggest you leave.
The flood begins:
Water gushes up from the roof,
Lakes rise up through the floorboards,
Hot springs bubble in the bathroom,
Sharks nip my ankles in the sea in the living room,
And a waterfall crashes down the stairs.
I wade through the basement,
Ford the rushing torrent in the hall,
And finally face the cause of all destruction:
The waters stop, while your petulant pet
Smirks in smug satisfaction.
The ceiling drips gently
Through its blistered paint;
Rivulets of water run down
The streaked wallpaper;
And a faint scent of mould
Wafts up from the damp carpets.
You and your rain-cloud float elsewhere.
I remain –
Sodden-haired and soaked to the skin,
Mopping fruitlessly at the flood.
- Date February 6, 2015
- Tags 2002 Floods - Winning Poems