Homes and Gardens
The brambles went mental when my mum was ill.
I was too sapped of strength to pick up the secateurs
and, like mouthy Year 9s testing boundaries with the supply teacher,
they sensed my weakness, took the piss,
played Twister, graffitied all over the garden,
flung their hagnailed hands over the fence
to give the finger to the neighbours.
They infiltrated the house,
insinuated themselves inside my mother’s rib cage,
wrapped themselves around her lungs and heart,
popped them like birthday balloons
that shrivelled to scraps of burst rubber
in the centre of a dark and thorny thicket.
Prickly tendrils crept inside my skull,
clawed my brain, left puncture wounds that festered.
It’s only now I can bring myself to cut them back,
only now I can see over the garden wall again.
Melanie Branton is a poet and spoken word artist from North Somerset. Her first collection, My Cloth-Eared Heart, was published by Oversteps in 2017 and her second, Can You See Where I’m Coming From?, is forthcoming from Burning Eye. melaniebranton.wordpress.com Twitter: @sapiencedowne