2020 Poetry Winner – Helen Ross

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Standing Still on Hope Street


A lion, carved in stone on a concrete

tower, his lonely pride a heady stir of wish

and risk, corrugated windows, doors barred,


dead birds in the gutter. Passers-by once looked

up to two broken judges on the ledge below;

their eyes a slimy fuzz of moss. This building used


to be the future.  Eight storeys mixed by hand,

raised together floor by floor, tiled in every shade

of Glasgow green. Daring as a Chicago skyscraper!


headlined newspapers. Dapper as a Dutch

townhouse! nodded well-travelled councillors.

Refinement! Revival of the Scottish tradition,


textbooks boasted. Now cold roars through

the redundant office space, shoots up the

shadow of the shops. The lion is a danger,


meshed and netted. No hunter can capture

his past. Today cannot be put on pause as

he waits for tomorrow to wear down his claws.


by Helen Ross


All text appears as provided by the author.