In Queen Square, London


A revised poem

We wait for a child sleeping after treatment
and have come to this quiet garden for respite. 
The bench is chilled in the moist autumn air. 
The Communard-beret’d path-sweeper approaches.

Where’s the plaque, I ask, that was here last time?
(It marked the place where a Zeppelin bomb 
made a crater and narrowly missed a hospital.)
Leaves twitch and worry at the circular cover.

Council took it, he says, brushing them away. 
It was the sort of care we’ve come to expect. 
Why, they might even not report a giant asteroid 
missing the earth by a mere million miles – 
in case they rattle the brittle pots of anxiety 
we’ve gingerly shelved at the back of our lives.


( Queen Square, London, hit by a bomb in 1915, this decorative square  
is in front of the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery  
and just round the corner from Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children )


© Nemo 2023
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it had to be nominated for the sheer clarity of the image portrayed. Mitch

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