Storm by Maureen Patricia Duffy

How you would have hated this storm, the lightning dash
and bomb-blast of thunder, and I would have hurried
home from school so you shouldn’t be alone
to find you crouched behind a door, in a corner
under the stairs. And it wasn’t a memory
of the latest thunderclap that had sent you
scuttling, not the one that buried us both
but that childhood strike of a bolt against
your 1890s’ workhouse style high brick
Board School when you fled over the wall
to Granny’s and were marked missing at roll-call
whose centenary I commemorate here
of never-to-be-forgotten terror for you
who were so brave every winter in the face
of that death that finally ran you down, when
every stifled cough might throw up your life’s blood.

And when the real bomb fell whispered to our
rescuers: “Take my little girl out first.”

From: “The Saturday Poem: Storm” in The Guardian, Saturday, 30 January 2016.
(https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jan/30/saturday-poem-storm-maureen-duffy)

Date: 2016

By: Maureen Patricia Duffy (1933- )

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