Pkhali – Nancy Campbell


for AZ

You’re holding flowers, dark as skeins
of beetroot dug up in the sun,
dark as the earth they came from.
The buds open, shaking out shadows
that could not dye them deeper.
The beetroot you prepared last night
only seemed dark as these flowers
until you skinned and sliced the bulbs,
tumbled them in a bowl. Then
such colour! Even now we’ve eaten
it can’t be hidden – the bowl stained pink,
your hands, flushed by the juice;
your hands, that tremble as they hold
these dark flowers.


Nancy Campbell’s books include Disko Bay (Enitharmon, shortlisted for Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2016) and The Library of Ice (Simon&Schuster). She was the UK’s Canal Laureate in 2018, and is currently Literature Fellow at Villa Concordia, Bamberg.

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