Monday, March 15, 2010


This is a draft I wrote at the weekend. It will explain what I'm up to at present.
I hope you are doing well.


for Nieves

I’ve pruned the roses, cut back herbaceous
shoots and stems and planted primulas in pots,
so you can see a little colour from the window
when you get home. Now I’m on my knees,
with a knife, scraping weeds from pavers.

Dandelion, couch grass and yellow-flowered
oxalis, till fingers find a tiny, hairy seedling
that my eyes identify as comfrey, knit-bone,
and I smile, because it seems a good omen, as if
this life is still willing to give you what you need.

Miles away in that hospital bed you are a flightless,
featherless, gawky baby bird; secondary growth excised,
two new titanium branch lines shoring up your spine.

You once said your name means snow in Spanish.
Well it can only be the kind of snow that falls
high above the tree line, up on the sierras and picos.
Powdery and dazzling - snow at its best.
Snow that persists.


Blogger Unknown said...

Oh this is near damn perfect, A. What a lovely, fierce invocation for someone so close to you.

2:31 pm  
Blogger savannah said...

i've been remiss, but what a lovely piece to come back to, sugar! i hope all is well/or on the mend across the pond. xoxoxo

6:02 pm  
Blogger Pat said...

Yes I agree with Barbara and Savannah. Clever girl:)

12:26 pm  
Blogger Lucy said...

Beautiful. I think Nieves will love it.

4:01 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Thanks all. N is home, though suffering bad headaches from a post-operative complication. I hope it will resolve itself without her having to go back in.

But it is good to see her through what was a huge operation.

Lovely day here and I'm catching up at home, lots of seedlings that need potting on and the house iss a tip!

12:51 pm  
Blogger Kay Cooke said...

That poem does say it all - a beautiful strong poem for a friend. I'm sure it will prove right too.

10:35 pm  

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