Merryn Williams

PND
(post-natal depression)

One fell off the fragile bridge;
others froze in horror.
Far below them, howling winds
and glimpse of foaming water

Four young women shared a house
partied, shrieked with laughter.
All got married, scattered wide.
Three go on without here.

Driving rain, on clothes and skin;
you feel the thin bridge shudder.
The baby knows there’s something wrong,
looks round and sees no mother.

Three come home. All night they weep;
why could no one save her?
while each, in fear, bears step by step
a child across the water.

I went to grammar school in Hastings in eleven-plus days, studied English at New Hall, Cambridge, and got a doctorate for my thesis on Thomas Hardy’s novels. After that I taught adult students for the Open University and the W.E.A., living for several years near Cranfield University where my husband worked as a physicist. I am literary adviser to the Wilfred Owen Association, having a great interest in the poets of the First World War.

I went to grammar school in Hastings in eleven-plus days, studied English at New Hall, Cambridge, and got a doctorate for my thesis on Thomas Hardy’s novels. After that I taught adult students for the Open University and the W.E.A., living for several years near Cranfield University where my husband worked as a physicist. I am literary adviser to the Wilfred Owen Association, having a great interest in the poets of the First World War.