False Spring

It’s a risk with anything new.
What garden doesn’t know
hope, betrayal, shade?

Though battalions of snow
assault both bud and blade—
the spring is no less true.


The train may be longer than the platform.
The platform may be shorter than the train.
The poem may be longer than your patience.
This one stops here.


the sleeve of tears in the kitchen drawer
beside the pins and the candle stubs
and the darning wool and the bag of nails
and the tail-end of an afternoon
and a till receipt and a bus ticket
and three peppermints

never spills

End of Term

We have waited and waited for the holidays.
How white the sand! It stretches to the horizon.
Our buckets and spades are bright with fear
As the sun goes down.


not to feel angry with myself for being angry not
to feel it’s ridiculous nothing to do with you only with me
not to cross the cold floor in the dark
not to face keys in a pool of light

Helena Nelson

If you've any comment on these poems, Helena Nelson would be pleased to hear from you.