Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Off With Their Heads

I asked him, a vegetable gardener,
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.

© Afric McGlinchey

North Korea dismisses Trump threat, details plan to attack Guam

Afric McGlinchey’s début, The lucky star of hidden things (Salmon Poetry, 2012), was translated into Italian and published by L’Arcolaio. Her second collection, Ghost of the Fisher Cat, for which she received an Arts bursary, was nominated for the Forward Prize, Irish Times Poetry Now Award and the Piggott Prize. Afric also blogs at Poem as Totem