I found you on a sad day.

You lay on the pavement’s edge
as if someone had kicked you aside,

small, grey and imperfectly round.
Eyes to the ground, I crept past,

then a flicker of sun, and you winked
and I knew that wink was for me.

You were a perfect fit for my palm
and, close up, so much more

than just grey, with starry sprinkles
of pink and cream,

shiny and pitted, smooth and rough
all at the same time.

You made me think
about the zillions of years

it took to make you this way –
still inside you, the spit of volcanos,

the cold toes of glaciers,
the wild-beating heart of the sea.

You are the secret I hold
in the snug darkness of pockets.

How warm you grow
as you take away all my sad.



Vicky Gatehouse is a Zoologist, poet and children’s writer based in Yorkshire. She has a day job in science and has worked voluntarily as a library ambassador, a theatre chaperone and a planter of hedgerows. Vicky has published two books of poems and her writing has featured in many magazines. She was recently highly commended for Little Tiger’s Picture Books that Help competition. Vicky likes nothing better than browsing independent bookshops, dancing in the kitchen and walking her dog through the woods.