Green by Chris Woods





My Kodak Brownie didn’t work
but I have a picture of the green dress.
The film was black and white,
my memory is colour.

We’d eaten our lunch by ten o’clock,
sandwiches and crisps out of paper bags,
the sickly smell inside the coach
as we dizzied through the Dales to Malham.

My first day trip from Hanson Primary School
into a countryside I didn’t know.
I don’t remember who I sat next to
but it wasn’t Wendy Smith in the green dress.

Mr Shepherd led us to Janet’s Foss
along a white stone path, the soft curves
of the hills all around me and the blue sky
and the dizziness still inside,

down a rough track to a cool place,
full of ferns and moss and the sound of water.
I didn’t know what a waterfall was
or how it could flow into cool deep light.

The stream slid over green, gushing
down into a perfect pool.
I surfaced to sunlight, a green dress
and you, smiling at me.

This was the second place poem of The London Magazine’s first worldwide Poetry Competition 2014