Still the chrome laburnum casts its Midas-glow;
Its petals drift as late May snow,
Upon this far-off garden long ago.
Red brick walls retain past heat,
Contain a lawn, square-trimmed and neat.
Smug pigeons strut, with cooing bleat.
A potting shed, with tiled roof-scales
Holds sun-warmed seedlings, jars, old nails;
With pea-sticks propped like fencing rails.
Whitewashed frames hold puttied panes
Whose finger smudges tell of games
That cracked the glass, betray no names.
Paint flakes swell and drop their scurf
On flower-beds; the time-dense earth
Hides daisy-heads close in the turf.
An apple tree, its corded arms
Tattooed with lichen, raised in alarm
Routs vagrant birds, intent on harm.
Brush-strokes trace the fleeting leaves
Meld paint and time to canvas-weave:
No-one in this garden’s left to grieve.
Time holds what the mind’s-eye sees;
Stripy deckchairs, summer teas,
Each to their own memories.
Other childhoods, times and lives;
Faded photos, babies, wives.
Paint holds true and love survives.
Kate Meyer-Currey is the granddaughter of the South African poet, R.N. Currey and grew up in a writing-oriented family. Diverse life experiences in challenging environments and a sense of ‘other’ shape her poetry.