WW2 Poem: ‘Today, I gather from the orchard grass’

Today, I gather from the orchard grass
Apples and Shrapnel – windfalls shaken down
When angry gusts tempestuously pass.

Land Girls who worked at The Knowles, Kent
Land Girls who worked at The Knowles, Kent. This was the same county where the author of the poem worked during the Second World War.

Tonight, above the dark surrounding town,
Shellbursts and stars will decorate the sky
with dangerous beauty, devastations crown.
A lunatic balloon, adrift on high
trailing its shadow by a silver thong
above the sailing leaves, goes sailing on.

Sirens and robins share their autumn song
as war and peace alternately take wing
chanting antiphonally all day long.

And I, impartially markening,
confident, planting for a doubtful spring
the cabbages that others may devour
the tulips I may never see in flower

By Margaret Threadgold in Abbeyfield Home, Groombridge where she spent the last years of her life. She was in the Land Army during the war near Tunbridge Wells. Thank you to Tessa Moore for sharing this poem with website visitors.

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