The poppies in Shoreditch are at perfect repose
Although beyond the traffic flows, the city thumps
Eternally, jostling elbows, sopranos and beggars, suits
And rags, mingle, the slickers thicken the pavements with their
Smart shoes and smart suits, pointed beards and vintage boots
And yet the poppies in Shoreditch are at perfect repose.

I came here, because I was fearful, fretful,
I wanted to sit in the darkness of the old church
And savour the familiar grain of the inner cool
The hallowed stones and the whispers of ancient worshippers.
But the door would not open, and I turned, dejected,
Another pop up café I could not enter.

And then I found the poppies, the poppies in Shoreditch,
And they were gentle, peaceful, and somehow
More human than the people around me, and they
Heard my prayers more than the sombre old church
Decaying as it rises to cut the soft blue sky ever was able.

The poppies in Shoreditch are at perfect repose,
Red and green and suffering, an immortal memento
Of the horrors that have been. And yet they grow, and grow
Impossible resilience, the phoenix of the flowers,
Enduring, and enduring, as the city around them spreads,
Smouldering, they grow, and grow, and I hope, that when I
Return to St Leonards, I will see them there, and my spirit
Will grow and lift, like the first time I saw them, those
Poppies in Shoreditch in their perfect timeless repose.

Rose Staveley-Wadham