Wellington Square by Alison Brackenbury



Alison Brackenbury’s Selected Poems, Gallop, was published in 2019 by Carcanet. New poems can be read on her website:






















Wellington Square








Eight blackbirds in a square

so early, found so late,

a bus, come unexpectedly,

an unlocked gate,


no password, no keypad,

one sweep of mown grass where

by copper beech, by holm oak

sheltered from sky and square


eight blackbirds of all ages,

all sizes, flecked with fawn

or smouldered black, flicked pages

of leaf. Chill shock of dawn


had not deterred the worms which hung

from each beak in wet wreaths.

Birds hunted, too intent

to rise from paths like breaths.


Only when a dog ran

when heat smoked from the sun

I turned from ghost to human

from eight blackbirds to none.



Alison Brackenbury


Published in Stand.


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