Mrs McNelly sits in the corner in her wooden rocking chair. looking out of her window, high up, above the concrete estate. that tiny tear. squeezing over her wrinkled face. drops and falls. disappears into the mat. and Mrs McNelly sits and waits. looking out imagining the view from years ago. the boat she watched go out to sea. to the lonely sea and sky. and the boat which never returned. Mrs McNelly sits and waits. By Jennifer Whitehead, age 16, who receives a collection of poetry. Submitted by April McGoldrick of Plessington Roman Catholic High School, Bebington, Wirral, who receives the BPTeacher's Poetry Resource File, published and donated by the Poetry Society. For Poetry Society events ring 071-240 4810.
The use of a real name gives this poem a sense of place. Without that name I might have missed it and lost the sudden glimpse of the sea in those four final good lines, of the "boat which never returned" for which Mrs McNelly waits, seing it only in her imagination, from her room "above the concrete estate", which could be anywhere.