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The Companion

Katrina Naomi

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)