Julie Sampson


This process of decay
quickens, the heart beat
comes too close, too close.

You tell me on the phone
your patient has died, at last,
you heard his final breath,
folded his wrinkled hands
holding on, not letting go.

Here, paint flakes, doors
refuse to shut, windows warp
and out through cracked glass
pinks and white-rose petals
photosynthesise, then
fall in shreds.

I remember my son aged three
tottering on wet grass
mum… my… wait for me.

Over there the gypsophilia,
we call it baby’s breath,
will soon overlay the cracked bird-bath
and below in garden’s hollow
where pool’s absorbing setting light
astilbes crest the golden lilies,
butterflies wisp over irises
and interleafing the surfacing fish those hostas
still whisper life-giving secrets.



Julie Sampson is a widely published poet. She edited Lady Mary Chudleigh’s Selected Poems, 2009 (Shearsman). She has two poetry collections: Tessitura, (Shearsman, 2014); and It Was When It Was When It Was (Dempsey and Windle), 2018. She was highly commended in the Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize, (IDP). Her website is https://www.juliesampson.com/

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