My mother heard the siren scream, ran for the shelter,
felt the ground shudder and the houses tremble.
Later she found clothes and toys tossed across the street,
a naked staircase, a stench of furnace.
Ash and dust swirling over the cobbled road,
grey and sticky in her copper hair.
Seventy years later in a south-coast nursing home
combing it out.
Paul O'Prey's poems have appeared in various magazines, including PNR, Poetry Wales, South, The Shop (Ireland) and Shearsman. He has edited two anthologies of poetry written during the First World War as well as the selected poems of Robert Graves, Laurence Binyon and Mary Borden. He runs Dare-Gale Press – aimed initially at rediscovering neglected poets, but also focussing on new poetry, and poetry and the environment.