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Conker by Sonia Phillips

Her bright brown eyes recognise their glossy twin
A jewel among bronze, ruby, jade-coloured leaves
Half foetal, within its skin-soft, silk-smooth womb.

Reverently, she eases and prizes the seed from inside its spiky shell
Then triumphantly treasures this marvellous marble of life,
Fingerprints scooping intricately across its glossy iris.

She knows the world encased here: an eagerly awaiting tree
Patient, but ready to breathe life into the world, the girl who sees
The baby victory she holds is as precious as gold.

But the others are wounded. Puppet strings bleed through holes,
Missiles aimed gleefully at their sisters and brothers.
Conquerors, explosives, bombs.

She silently tiptoes through the debris with her fist tight around
This free little hopeful glimmer of peace. She finds
A soft secret space underground and tucks it away to grow,

Take root, branch out, be fruitful, fulfil its living destiny:
The only way to win.