Holiday Cottage

Remember I sat on the grass
and sobbed, dust coating
the shack’s three rooms,

its festering rugs? Dishes
not done. A valley view?
All we could see was the wood

and a lav in a hut
fifty yards off. Water
fetched from a stream

and nappies sagging
for days in the rain,
our son not quite trained.

Remember the blackness  
that curtained the door,
nothing to light the night

but gas  ̶  our matches
ripping the mantles’ silk.
Nothing to mop a floor.

Remember blackbirds at dawn
— the valley vast with song.



Jenny Hockey is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Sheffield University. Her poems were first published in 1985 and her debut collection, Going to bed with the moon appeared in 2019 (