In all our sanctuaries we sit at risk

Going to Work


7.7 King's Cross Alexander Chadwick


The leaves are sodden they’ll take
months to become useful again.
I bagged them today

in a world so warm
I used my fingers to rake
the grass clear of their wet colours.

I imagine them now as I write
with the wind getting up
and the fox stirring for his scavenge through the dark :

there will be no more light, no air
they are packed dankly together
they have begun

their long settling back
their loss and blending of shape
their winter’s work.


(I wrote this poem in the Autumn of 2006. The picture I have attached to it was taken by Alexander Chadwick in the London Underground under King’s Cross Station. He was following his fellow-passengers as they made their way up to the surface, in the hours immediately after the London bombings of 7th July 2005)