A bomb took his brother,

A sniper’s bullet took his dad,

and when you asked about his mum and sister,

he just looked away.


So, when his was the only sunflower that

didn’t come up,

I thought, jeez, the Universe really doesn’t like this kid.

I didn’t blame him when he threw the pot against

the wall.

But in the middle of the muddy impact zone

there was a speck of green;

a minute, fragile finger poking

from that skinny, stripy little seed.


He picked it up, refilled the pot,

replanted it with such tenderness,

then, for the first time, smiled.

I had to turn away to hide the tears

as a tiny shoot of hope stirred inside me, too.

© Nicola Davies, from Choose Love (Graffeg, 2022)

from Choose Love
by Nicola Davies
(Graffeg, 2022)

Nicola Davies

Nicola Davies is an award-winning author, whose many books for children include The Promise (Green Earth Book Award 2015, Greenaway Short-list 2015), Tiny (AAAS Subaru Prize 2015), A First Book of Nature and Whale Boy (Blue Peter Award Shortlist 2014).

Nicola graduated in Zoology from King’s College, University of Cambridge, and studied geese, bats and whales before becoming a presenter for The Really Wild Show and the BBC Natural History Unit. She has been writing for children for more than 20 years. Underlying all Nicola’s writing is the belief that a relationship with nature is essential to every human being, and that now, more than ever, we need to renew that relationship. Nicola is based in Crickhowell, Wales.