even now, grief
“what hope for
A Blackout poem inspired by the poem below “Anne Frank Huis” by Andrew Motion.
Anne Frank Huis
by Andrew Motion
after twice her lifetime of grief
and anger in the very place, whoever comes
to climb these narrow stairs, discovers how
the bookcase slides aside, then walks through
shadow into sunlit room(s), can never help
but break her secrecy again. Just listening
is a kind of guilt: the Westerkirk repeats
outside, as if all time worked round
towards her fear, and made each stroke
die down on guarded streets. Imagine it— four years of whispering, and loneliness,
and plotting, day by day, theAllied line
in Europe with a yellow chalk. What hope
she had for ordinary love and interest
her here, displayed above the bed
as pictures of her family; some actors;
fashions chosen by Princess Elizabeth.
And those who stoop to see t hem find
not only patience missing its reward,
but one enduring wish for chances
like my own: to leave as simply
as I do, and walk at ease
up dusty tree-lined avenues, or watch
a silent barge come clear of bridges
settling their reflections in the blue canal.
Andrew Motion, “Anne Frank Huis” from Coming In To Land: Selected Poems 1975—2015. Copyright © 2017 by Andrew Motion. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers Inc..
Source: Coming In To Land: Selected Poems 1975—2015 (HarperCollins, 2017)