A Poem by David Gilbert on World Poetry Day
You Didn’t Tell Me
You didn’t tell me there would be days when I could walk out
on a garden by a low stone wall and breeze from the Baltic.
You didn’t tell me there would be chaffinches in the oak
and gentle hill curving down to the reeds, lake and an empty boat.
You didn’t tell me there would be oars, that I could steer to middle water
overlooked by black and white storks in towering nests.
You didn’t tell me there would be time to pull in the oars,
let drift and swirl, that distant bells could sound like glockenspiels.
You didn’t tell me that shivery and jagged reflections of white trees
could settle themselves into distinct silver parallel lines.
You didn’t tell me that I could return at any time to the jetty,
or that when I stood, a turquoise dragonfly could land on my arm.
David Gilbert is Writer in Residence at Bethlem Gallery, author of ‘The Patient Revolution – how we can heal healthcare’ (Jessica Kingsley Press). This poem comes from his poetry collection, ‘The Rare Bird Recovery Protocol’ (Cinnamon Press).