Introducing the May 2009 Readers – 3. Julia Rampen

Julia Rampen comes from Edinburgh and is currently studying history at Cambridge University. However, she prefers writing poetry to writing essays. Julia was a Foyle Young Poet of the Year 2005 and 2006, a prizewinner in the Christopher Tower competition and currently is involved in the organization of a poetry event for Cambridge University’s Festival of Ideas next autumn.

My Grandmother’s House

My grandmother’s house rises
with the dawn. The sun drips
cinnamon through elderly glass,
embracing flowers flung
up vases, like birds;
rouses a fire that burns junk
into jewels.

The kitchen carries passengers,
my grandmother at its helm:
iced luncheons, rumours of suburbs
advancing in immaculate platoons,
plates like fragile moons
throwing tantrums in the sink.
Upstairs, ancestors nap
between pages of imperial
scrapbooks, or in the parlour,
quiet as a brittle pool, a second
preserved for fifty years.

Its brick walls blush by sunset,
mask themselves in languid dusks
like a chrysalis. Through fly eyed
windows, I watch summer evenings
replay again and again, as heat
begins to thin. Knowing
I only have to creep downstairs
and open a door
to let the bulldozers in.

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