How pretty! we said when the vines appeared.
But soon the lines climbing the Shard looked odd,
like laces done up wrong or a map wadded
and torn until the printed paths disappear.
The tendrils crept along, floor by floor,
lacing a corset of leaves so tight and fast
the building grew a waist. Bookies swore
that it would break. Hundreds fled on foot
as a pulsing swarm of bees circled and buzzed.
No one expected the coo or the frantic doves
dusted with glass, bursting through the roof,
leaving the mouth of the building wide open —
ready to receive whatever the world poured in.
NJ Hynes is a poet and occasional curator living and working in London. Her creative writing MA (with honours) is from Goldsmiths, and in 2014 she won Live Canon’s inaugural first collection competition with The Department of Emotional Projections. She enjoys flamenco, killing slugs with heels and went to the same primary school as Prince.