Poetry Archive Now Wordview 2020: Pegs

Winter, the council flat in Willington.

Wooden dolly pegs, the baby in the Silver Cross pram.

White terry towelling stiffening on the line,

you will the dark clouds to abate and the wind to bite,

that the neighbours don’t steal your button fly Easy jeans.


Bright primary pegs, red, yellow, blue, green

your toddler child, his chubby arms and legs.

The discount store one hundred wooden pegs

bought in Hope Street, that snap and break.


Arriving home from the late shift, searching the dark

for washing strewn in the wind, caught on branches

of the lilac tree, the crate pallet fence.

And now pegs turn up unexpected.


They are coming out of their hiding places,

backs of cupboards, cabinets and drawers,

the garage space, children’s toy boxes in the attic.


Pegs that once held everything in place

nappies, Baby-grows, t-shirt and Easy jeans,

the waitress uniform,

the mustard and blue checked shirt,

the obligatory metal name tag.

Recording provided as part of Poetry Archive Now: Wordview 2020. Used by permission of the author.

Poetry Archive Now Wordview 2020 Winners

Welcome to the Poetry Archive Now! WordView 2020 Collection. For the first time the Archive opened its doors wide to poets from around ...

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Rachel Burns

Rachel Burns is a graduate from Durham University. She completed a screenwriting talent scheme with ITV and Northern Film and Media. Her screenplays were longlisted in recent BBC Script Rooms. She is an alumnus of the 2018 Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Programme, mentored by Tim Crouch. Her poetry pamphlet ‘A Girl in a Blue Dress’ is published by Vane Women Press.


A special thank you to our WordView 2020 poets.

Chair of the Judging Panel, Imtiaz Dharker, says: “The hundreds of entries we received blew in to the Archive like a breath of pure, unpolluted air from all over the world, revealing something of the time we are living in, some telling it straight, some slant. It was exciting to check in to the Poetry Archive’s Youtube channel every morning and come upon one unexpected voice after another."

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