Shropshire Council

Her Constancy by Kate Innes

26 May 2022 Last updated at 09:07

We have commissioned a local writer and poet Kate Innes to write a poem with a brief of celebrating landscape, communities and jubilee. We all think that Kate has done a wonderful job. Have a read and let us know what you think on . Her Constancy will be displayed in libraries across Shropshire to mark Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. This project was funded by Libraries Connected.  


Her Constancy

If we could stand on Castle keep or Wrekin hill
and reach down to turn back the pages of this time,

and turn again some seventy years and see all
of Shropshire’s life spread out – as it was –

the sound of horses’ hooves still ringing on the roads
through all the cherry blossomed villages and towns.

Join women crowded round the only television in the street,
watch starched nurses toast her health with hospital tea

and farmers spreading muck with measured pride.
Hear Granville men raise evening mugs of cheer

before nodding off on coal-dust folded arms,
their children wide awake with cake and games.

Then we’d know how they hailed her youth – and solemnity.

But we take for granted what we’re formed upon:

the fossils that make our soil and stone –
shining Roman silver, hidden golden sun,

black diamond coal that drives the new engine
of the SVR – in its purple livery.

All that lies below – and Severn’s winding run.

Not even seventy libraries could hold enough books
to tell what has passed, what shall last, and what evolve

from Ludlow to Wem and Ironbridge to Clun,
since our Queen took the throne.

But time must write on.

Bring flame to light the beacon now – to mark this rarest jubilee –
her resolute winter in our spring – a hawthorn holiday

celebrating her constancy.

Kate Innes