Named after a flower, you were a gardener
without a garden. You filled our flat –
proudly called a maisonette – with flora,
histories of courage and abundance.

The windowsill was home for a mother
of thousands, a gift from your friend, Phyllis,
Pearl’s money tree, some Tradescantia.

Dad grew taller, praising your green fingers.
I’d inspect your hands – the only evidence,
those plants you’d tend and tether like children.

Now when I look, my own open palms
are turning into yours, empty and worn
but for the blessings of friends, this emerald planet,
the unfathomable mulch of compost.

From: Reading the Flowers, Arc, 2016.

Posted: Thu 5 Jul, 2012