Up The Garden
Our slabbed path fixes again, petunia pink
on sage green through the soil of memory
and I imagine the season’s beans climbing,
a plot of lettuce heads. You and me
clasp hands like decades never passed us;
we roll by pansy pots and marigold beds,
past gravestones for long gone cats,
beneath the vine-heavy, white lattice archway.
We cast so many snails
over neighbours’ fences.
So many slugs were shrivelled
by our cobalt pellets.
So many of our kites flew
when others fell.
It’s hard for us both
not to wither under the past.
Someone’s cut the gorse back;
the birds and butterflies have fled.
Your shattered legs won’t make it
up the steady steps to the shed,
where our tools have been unheld
too long, and rusted.
So our bones rest in the conservatory,
we see ourselves on plates of glass.
You twist yarns, make me a child again
before the aches end it at last. Somehow,
before we depart, you find enough mercy
to say, That’s nature, however much we hate it.
Russell Jones is an Edinburgh-based writer and editor. He has published 4 collections of poetry and edited two poetry anthologies. He is deputy editor of Shoreline of Infinity, a sci-fi magazine.
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