English Summer - Poem by Mandy Baldwin
In a place of rich perfection which I love
I close my eyes and feel a distant magnet tug.
And it’s small things which follow me:
Shingle beaches; fitful sunshine on brisk days
A history of people under white cliffs
And nonchalance, and cool, independent ways.
Egg-sandwiches on mornings never too hot to play
Smell of salt and green sweep of hills.
Damp wooden bridges over small brown streams
and castles, towering, rotting, old and grey.
And all of my winters and summers are in me
On a sharp blue morning here, so far away
From steam trains and cloudy beechwood valleys
From fish and chips and beer at wooden benches
in sappy gardens on soft, cool summer days.
Is this homesickness? Is this what it means?
The ache for things so gladly left, revisited in dreams?
I am it – and it is me.
I left her – but still
England is my Mother Country.
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