Stuart Pickford




The Lawn

Just starting my bowl of cereal and glancing
at the wintry Beast from the East in The Mail
when Dad hands me a three-foot broom.
The time? Minutes past nine. As he’d said,

if I pulled the handle and walked up and down
in lines, in strict lines, looking behind,
like in the days he used to cut the grass,
I could sweep away the—what was it?—

dew. As ever, I did what I was told,
the dull water like a cloud too heavy
for the sky, a slur on the colour green.
The lawn would be dry by lunch. Obviously,

I couldn’t mow it; they’d Don, the handyman.
As he didn’t do ladders, Dad asked
if I could prune the apple tree, hard.
Your mother hates cutting anything, but

I don’t want it blossoming, don’t want apples
all over the grass. And you were right,
late in the afternoon, the lawn was lined,
found its colour. Summer had come back.




Stuart Pickford is the recipient of an Eric Gregory award. His first collection, The Basics, was published by Redbeck Press (2002) and shortlisted for the Forward Best First Collection prize. His second collection, Swimming with Jellyfish (2016), was published by smith/doorstop. Stuart lives in Harrogate and teaches in a local comprehensive school.

Comments are closed.