National Poetry Day
Kathryn Simmonds is a poet who is Herts born and bred although she now lives in Norwich. Kathryn did the famous creative writing MA at UEA Norwich and has won numerous awards including the Eric Gregory Award in 2002 and the Forward Prize for the best first collection in 2008. Her poem Suburban Love Song is from her first collection, Sunday at the Skin Launderette. Her second collection is The Visitations. Both are published by Seren. She is also the author of a novel, Love and Fallout, and parts of the story are set in Hertfordshire.
Suburban Love Song
I am giving my heart to the cul-de-sac,
the loll-de-sac, the mull-de-sac,
I am falling in love
with the privacy of sodium and hedge.
Give me no prairies starved of corner shops,
no cathedrals made of history,
oceans showing off outside the door;
this is my joy, the dull-de-sac, the null-de-sac.
Once, in a ground floor flat
I was startled from sleep by gunfire,
a woman screaming, the wail of the police;
and I wailed too, but only for myself
(this was the city after all)
I wailed for something old in me,
for something nearly lost,
a clattered gate, then silence absolute,
the beauty of a shed consuming winter light,
houses strung together in a loop;
the sigh-de-sac, the lull-de-sac,
mysterious and mundane as a kiss.