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109th Weekly Poetry Contest winner: AUSTRALIA

by Ciarán Parkes

For Mary Sands, sometimes in the 1950’s
September and apples
like the last roses of summer.
On the way back from school
we find an orchard
with no house beside it.
We scramble though the hedge,
pick up windfalls, polish them
on sleeves, then getting braver,
shake the trees, climb them.
From the close-packed branches
we can see no people or houses,
it might as well be Australia,
the name we give it, imagining
the apples waiting for us, undiscovered.
We fill ourselves,
weigh schoolbags down
with apples that make the long
journey home seem lighter.

See all the entrants to 109th Weekly Poetry Contest