Young Poet: Saul Grenfell

Saul Grenfell is a 15-year-old student from London. He enjoys reading and writing for pleasure, and attending his school’s creative writing club with friends. He is also an avid Doctor Who fan.

Rain and cheer

Innocence darted through streets alone,
hair dancing in the rush of it
amid dense smells and bids and cumin and saffron
little lungs a-panting.

Now, with top button stiffly done,
greying hair flattened and combed.
Through split roads, with rain and cheer,
he puts out a foot, heel-toe, heel-toe;
heel-toe, heel-toe.

His breath quickens as he wonders.
Is this trembling hand,
with pageantry and sword,
the same as the hand those years ago,
pinching dates and syrup, from angry sellers,
little lungs a-panting?

two hundred and forty-nine

we’ve been waiting for you
haven’t we
hanging snug up in there for months
we chose from dozens of flats
all for you
kitchen stocked
self-help books read
pampers bought
plastic gloves

your mum
obs + gynae
flashes of blue
and beeps
and flashes
and shouts
and flashes
and the rubbing of plastic gloves
and flashes
we had a room
stained blue curtain
blood-spotted floor
all for

your uncle
bless him
made you a cot
bit of a diy fanatic
quite sweet really
excess plywood trimmed
with licks of paint
for a mobile so your little eyes
could stare and gaze
only green paint was left
i’m afraid
so the lambs look a little poorly
but i’m sure you won’t mind;
he tried

they tried.
drowned in panic
but i promise
through hands squeezing
and cramps wheezing
they tried

now packing your books up
off to somewhere else
to gather dust
and god knows what we’ll do
with the bloody puree

the internet
god i envy your naivety
the internet
i can’t do this
the internet
why do i even
the internet says that
one in
two hundred and fifty
infants don’t
the internet
never mind

oh darling
why did you have to be the one