The Silent Valley

Born in nineteen-seventy.

Salvation Army hospital for 

an unmarried mother.

Twelve weeks work and a baby born for free.

For some reason

you decided to keep me,

like a pointless present,

left in a drab, dusty,

chest of drawers,

rarely used or opened.

A tot terrorised

in a two and a half storey maisonette,

somewhere between the new Ikea store 

and the slum clearances

of Leeds

in the Don Revie years.

 

Then, at some point,

between,

being twenty-five

and

driving through the Silent Valley

in two thousand and two,

I lost my mind in the Mourne Mountains.

Taking tablets twice daily since my forty-second birthday,

four thousand

three hundred and

eighty pills later,

I rattle like 

the Captain’s collection tin

on a wet Whitsunday

in Bramley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© swissterrace 2020
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Savvi

Love this especially the closing stanza, and who can forget the Don Revie years 🙂

Belcanto

I couldn’t agree more with Savvi’s admiration for The Silent Valley. This is one of the most effectively contrived and moving poems I’ve read on here in a very long time. If I could, I’d make it a great read or pick! Had to look up many of the references for although I’m a born and raised Brit, I’m long distanced from the country, its politics, sociology, geology and traditions. Yet I was blown away when I finally recognized the nuanced and powerful connections between all the images. The ending is especially stunning and meaningful in the way it brings… Read more »

Slovitt

followed Shelagh’s comment to your good poem.

perhaps, hyphens needed, “two-and-a-half”

agree “Captain’s collection tin” very effective tie-in to the Salvation Army reference of early lines.

“I lost my mind in the Mourne mountains.” is pure,

googled and found Mourne Mountains in Ireland. “Mountains” needs to be capitalized.

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