I have been described in many ways over the years, ranging from 'an alien from another planet', 'a breath of fresh air', to 'a maelstrom of a woman', but right at this moment, I feel pretty darn useless! I find myself once more at Birmingham airport, having rushed over to visit my dad, Maurice, who fell two months ago. He is not well, but he is struggling on, extremely bravely. I really want to stay with him for longer than a few days, but I have pressing work commitments in Ireland over the next two months. I feel like I am abandoning him. Like he, his garden... what choice do either of us have? I wrote this on the train and plane travelling back to Cork today.
No seeds yet, just thoughts.
Even as the rosy fingers of April
Urge the bony back of Summer to move.
Wobbling wired beanpoles,
Product of 'war ration' thinking,
Spokesmen for cloying, covetous Cheshire clay
Scream silently for sacrifice of sweat.
Not his foot, slides one in front of the other,
Along mossed flagstones;
No duel between this man and his soil;
Only the feet of another, a stranger ... no contempt therefore.
No flowers, the orange of my childhood,
Birthing slithering snakes of velvety green
Into the square box of a Nantwich son:
Running wild ...
Running free ...
Running scared ...
Maureen Walsh 2010 ©