The London Club sponsors the school’s ‘Prize For An English Poem’ at the  annual prize-giving ceremony. The 2017 winner, Emma Sunter’s poem ‘I can’t think of not knowing you’ is published below.

Thanks to Val Peay for getting hold of Emma’s poem via the Rector Pauline Walker.

I can’t think of not knowing you

I thought you’d be a puppy,
But no, after nine months, a baby sister.
I called you Googs: you couldn’t speak.
Your hand wrapped round my little finger.
Driving home from Grandma’s house –
Close knit in popcorn seats with blanket knees
Twinkle, twinkle ombre sky –
You sang yourself to sleep.
We saw the world from treetops
Ran through icing sugar rain.
Raincoats, yellow mustard seed.
Our faith could move a mountain
Enough girls can do their hair
But you can run and leap and do hard sums.
You are constant finger tapping irritation
But music flows from you like rays of sun.
Bus tickets and sweet wrappers
You’re in those scraps of paper,
Ich kenne du wie meine Wesentasche,
I can’t move for you being there.
But this September, no more
Cereal in mutual weariness
I can’t bring your forgotten cello up the hill,
You can’t laugh when I’m too serious.
You’ll be sleeping in my raincoat pocket
Blanketed in my runny noses
Shielded by my loose change
I’ll tread lightly and not wake you.
I’ll need you more than pockets
I’ll stuff tissues up my sleeves
And coins in my shoes, to be
Close to you.