but when it comes it is beautiful
and needs no justification:
the canal, the lock, three green narrow
boats and suddenly in the centre
a single man, a white-haired throw-
back from before electrification
climbing steps and about to enter
his high-walled garden, which is full
of flowering trees and trespassing vines –
and then only fields and parallel lines.
This poem was first published in the 2022 Winchester Poetry Prize Anthology 2022. Get a copy of the anthology and find out more about the prize here.