Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Morning Ritual

by Gerry Stewart

Spring’s green rumbling wakes me.
Slipperless, dawn icing my feet with dew. 

Damp-kissed gold snowflakes
on a slate stepping stone.
Remove coiled damp leaves
from the fence line,
autumn’s discards.

A tight fist pushes up
through drooping snowdrops,
ruffled plum wine splashed
among barbed wire and cobbles.

An echo of the past, my mother’s peonies,
blousy pink explosions,
nibbled open by fat black ants.
Jaws working, they peeled back
the bursting buds.

My mother’s day began, coffee cup in hand,
with a slow stroll to deadhead,
the morning crossword staining her wrist.
She checked tea roses
and floribundas for black spot,
aged dogs panting at her heels.

Oak branches whispered of India ink.
Koi swimming beneath cloud lily pads,
the music of seeds
spilled from dark compost.

My first steps in the garden: blue roses,
transplanted forest violets, gold-bearded,
struggled in mortar-filled soil
at the edges of her empire.

My own home, two cats follow me,
noses buried in petals.
With her blessings, I dip my fingers
into good clean mud.

* * * * *

Gerry Stewart is a poet, creative writing tutor and editor currently living in Finland with her young family. Her collection Post-Holiday Blues was published by Flambard Press, UK. She blogs about writing at

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