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School Year’s 4-5 Category Runner up Autumn in Gibraltar by Poppy Grace Down

Autumn in Gibraltar is a funny time of year
The temperature hasn't really dropped
But the season has changed its clear
It's almost the same temperature it was in August
Yet the beaches are bare
No more searching for your friends
No more fighting for a parking space
No more running to put your umbrella
In its regular place
No one's playing volleyball
No lifeguards manning their post
Don't try to go to the Nuffield pool
You'll find it's definitely closed

Peoples clothing has changed on the school run
You'll see a few in shorts
But don't try to buy some new ones
All Main Street sells is coats!
Abuelas with their scarves on
Abuelos wearing gloves
It's 23 degrees outside but they don't want to feel the cold
The teachers send me out from school fully dressed
With sweat dripping down my face
But there's no way your cardigan is going in your bag
We need to be careful, just in case!

It makes me smile when I feel a rain drop
It's been a long hot summer for sure
Everyone with their company umbrellas out
It's a shock when you walk out the door
The plants start looking a little bit greener
A few less leaves on the floor
I'll be wearing my raincoat
It's Autumn in Gibraltar after all!

Judge Charlie Durante’s comments:

“It’s so easy to drop into clichés when describing autumn. After Keats’ ode to the season, it is difficult to write something original. However, Poppy has avoided what we have come to expect from an autumn poem. The temperature hasn’t really plummeted; it’s still a temperate 23 degrees, but the elderly are being overly protected against the slight cooling. The summer madness is gone: deserted beaches, plenty of parking spaces, lifeguards absent. There is a sobering feeling that the inevitable change will come soon, but in the meantime you struggle wearing autumn clothes in almost summer temperature. Poppy has managed to convey what is peculiar about autumn in Gibraltar: there isn’t a clear break with summer as in more northern climes, but there is a distinct change in the air, though it’s difficult to pinpoint it. This poem is a pleasure to read and think about.”

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