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Maggie Sawkins: a poem

What is Written

One among many,

red leaf

that I troubled

to pick from the ground

in the walled garden

of Strokestown Park.

To the hotel

in Carrick I carried it

to lodge in between

the middle pages

of Constance Markievicz

in whose revolutionary life

I'd hope to find


It was day nine

and the young man, Janusz,

was an absence none

could fathom.

Who knows

what attracts us?

Why we keep searching

when logic

tells us nothing

of the living will be found.

Red leaf,

I don't even know your name.

It was the end

of autumn. Most things

that were destined

to fall had already fallen.

Maggie Sawkins is the author of five poetry collections: Charcot’s Pet, The Zig Zag Woman, Zones of Avoidance (winner of the 2013 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry), Many Skies Have Fallen and, most recently, The House Where Courage Lives (Waterloo Press). She lives in an old station master’s house on the Isle of Wight and delivers writing projects in community settings for people from all walks of life. You can find her here:


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