‘February’ by Tim Dooley


We walked back and forth from the library,
preparing for some high leap: sunlight catching
the tallest spume of the shopping centre fountain.

Something we owe to the past made our elders
stand, kneel and then sit in buildings
warmed by a hope for something better.

That monogrammed leather trunk
we use to keep the dresses
you can’t throw away came ahead of you.

Just so the twisted black
of the ornamental cherry’s bark
breaks out in gluey scars

that papery pink peeps through,
ballooning to the rumoured candy cloud
the street stands still for sight of.

Imported, fitted to this soil
but fruitless, its grace
sustains what reason
could not argue for: its place.
Tim Dooley is reviews and features editor of Poetry London, a tutor for The Poetry School and an arts mentor for the Koestler Trust. The Interrupted Dream, was published by Anvil in 1985, followed by the pamphlets The Secret Ministry (2001) and Tenderness (2004), both winners in the Smith/Doorstop pamphlet competition. Keeping Time (Salt, 2008) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. It was followed by Imagined Rooms (Salt, 2010), which collected out-of-print and previously unpublished work.