What was Left in the Orchard
by Rhiannon Hooson
Herefordshire has more acres of orchard than any other county in the UK. They were harvested almost exclusively by workers from the EU.
The trees strung with crow calls
and slack brown fruit. The Wasp Apple.
The Iron Pin. The Ten Commandments. Pomeroy,
and the Green Purnell, and the Cat's Head,
and the Rymer. The Credenhill Pippin, the Onibury Pippin,
the Puckrupp Pippin and the Pig's Nose. A rubble
of apples cobbling the red earth, banked
against the hedges, strewn under the grass
and seeding snowdrops where they rot.
Slowly winter opens the landscape to the eye
of the blackbird, but the harvest
never happened. Apples bred to the size
of a palm fall through empty air
into the wet grass
and rot there.
Hats full, caps full,
bushels and bushels and sacks.
from Goliat by Rhiannon Hooson (Seren, 2022)
© Rhiannon Hooson
With kind permission from Seren
Goliat by Rhiannon Hooson
Dr Rhiannon Hooson is a Welsh poet and author. She has won major awards for her work, including an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors, and her first book, The Other City (Seren, 2016), was shortlisted for the Wales Book of the Year award. She has performed at literature festivals across the UK, and her work has been featured in the Guardian, Magma, and Poetry Wales among others. In the last few years, she has been a Literature Wales bursary recipient, a Hay Festival Writer at Work, poetry editor of Creative Countryside magazine, and the judge of the PENfro festival poetry competition. She has a PhD in poetry from the University of Lancaster, and spent time living and working in Cumbria and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, before settling in the Welsh marches. Goliat, her second collection, will be released this month from Seren.