As though her concentration and yellow cardigan
so fixed to the scene
become a kind of sudden certainty —
and the moment has no choice
but to gorge on the crane of her neck
as she stands on the bank
of thorns, scruff bows, looking for her ball.
A jet rips overhead. The Girl looks up, sees only
sound and with no warning
turns and runs, like any child might run
in any cardigan
back to the alkaline flats of her croquet game.
Mallets bruise. Hoops gawp.
Balls chipped by years of foul-play.
Genevieve Stevens teaches poetry at Royal Holloway, University of London
This article appears in the 02 Feb 2022 issue of the New Statesman, Going Under