to prepare me a bed for flowers.
My newly bought blooms were tenderly
planted with compost; watered
every evening. They thrived in a sunny
aspect, next to an old stone wall.
A neighbour offered a bush. Within weeks,
its ugly spiky leaves were a profusion;
the insipid blooms overhung the bed
and sprawled untidily into the garden.
When I went to do the weeding, I found
it was suffocating the delicate plants beneath,
and pruned it back, almost to the roots.
My other plants began to thrive.
It was weeks before he noticed.
Then I saw his wrath, a spittle-spewing rage.
What was so special about this bush?
Something between him and the neighbour?
When I returned with a peace offering,
there was my bed – the entire length of it –
shorn of its desert roses, lilies and camellias.
The pain of it hit my belly, physical
as a pounding. And just for good measure,
my three-year-old spiral herb garden
had been demolished too. I wasn’t about
to escalate things further by reacting. Look
at the posturing between Trump and Kim Jong Un.
Already I’m worrying about every living thing.