How many summers is it together,
with your vents and doors open;
how many springs,
full of self-important shoots;
how many autumns,
dusty and home to spiders;
and how many winters,
shut, inward looking
at not very much?
Your pungence, creativity
and openness draw her in.
You’re completely transparent –
or so it seems.
Do you long for your great aunts
at Kew, Edinburgh and Belfast,
full of spectacle, colour, sprinklers?
Do you long for a white staircase?
You’re tended by just the one gardener.
The same pair of brown mottled hands,
pummelling rich black spongey earth into plastic pots;
labels, lovingly written in blue pencil;
sprigs of green firmly pushed into place.
The trains rattle at your windows,
a mini earthquake, but one you can count on.
No need for a welcome mat,
the grass is worn
a polished carpet to your door.
And here she comes,
looking briefly to the gulls,
stepping inside. For a moment,
the sun highlights her silver hairs
caught at the top right of your frame,
as she searches for the hard green gloves.
From Brittle Star No 10 (Autumn 2004)