Sonnet for the Lost Girls from School
Awake, I think of Julia Pearce,
and her father – his bad moods, his prosthetic eye,
the way she made herself faint at break time, and worse,
how she hated me; the reasons why.
As the storm acts up, I put her in the maze at Wistow,
measuring corn with a retractable tape.
Near a space where seeds haven’t grown
I pull on her hood, switch on her torch and let her stoop
there, but not for long, in just this type of weather.
I see her smile that isn’t really a smile
as if she’s woken, or come round, to gather
thoughts of what? her car, parked nearby? I’ll watch for a mile
or so before she breaks down and I zoom out
of the rain, into sleep that’s disturbing and torchlit.
Pam Thompson is a poet and educator based in Leicester. Her publications include The Japan Quiz ( Redbeck Press, 2009) and Show Date and Time (Smith | Doorstop, 2006) and Strange Fashion (Pindrop Press, 2017). Pam is a 2019 Hawthornden Fellow.