Poetry

Borderland Child

Written by Laura Lees


Restless child of the borderlands,

The blank space between the country and the city caught you in its trap,

You long for the sense of quiet and stillness given by the green hills and taller trees,

But the restless anxiety of the city still has its claws in you,

Too afraid to let go, too afraid to stay.


Be still, wandering child, let the wail of sirens and owls lull you to sleep,

In your house on the hill,

Atop of battlefields and burials,

Viking’s town, the Northmen swarm in your dreams.


Born on the edge, the commuter town in between,

Neither city nor country girl,

Suburban is too idyllic a term for you.

Neither having the pace of the city nor the peace of the country,

How could we have expected you to stay?


As the sun sets over the fields, you watch.

Northbound, the city turns on the neon stars,

Darkness shrouds the southbound view, Orion stretches along the horizon,

Remember your place, midland child, maintain the impossible balance,

Long for both or neither, to get lost in the city lights or be found under the stars.


Even your name symbolizes the split,

Years of ancestry paid homage in one small body, you are the namesake,

Unidentifiable merge of wild heather, fjords, city smoke and falling embers,

You are what your grandparents could only dream of.


How could you ever be whole?

Dividing lines run through your body and home,

How could you not see the fracture in front of you?

Third generation born on this land, your grandparents moved mountains and oceans for change,

And what is change if not radical?


“What is home if not the first place we learn to escape from?” they said,

How do you know you have grown if you do not leave?

So run, my borderline child, get as far as you can,

Find where you sit on the line.


Laura is a final year BA English student and resident of South Leicester. She enjoys poetry, local news and reading.

Feature image taken by Laura