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Daisy Chains

Anne Reynolds

Which of the children conceived the idea
To garland the trio of adults with a daisy chain apiece?
The tiny flowers limply dying against warm flesh
Their fingernails – stained green from piercing stems – creating links
In quiet self-absorption: a knot of limbs on the sloping lawn
Heads bent over the delicate threading
Of green and white – white and green
Bathed in a slanting sun and
Birdsong and buzzing insects

The fading negative of an unknown future
Held cautiously up to the light revealed
How my longing to be a Red Indian transformed
A garden pole into a skewbald pony galloping across the plains
A time when afternoon tea in our makeshift tepee
In the wild part of the garden
Became the exotic fare of braves and squaws
Instinctively gathering reeds and weaving them into tribal baskets
Sitting cross-legged in the sun, confident in what would come
I think I understood what mortality meant; I knew about the Holocaust
But I was confused when that Russian dog survived the pull of gravity
And ours was flattened by a gravel truck
We breathed the smells of earth
And milked the tree near the garden shed of secret resin
By ripping bark and scoring channels in the naked trunk

Smooth Sunday afternoonness
Plates balanced on the sideboard pierced by cutlery
Warm hands – through crystal – tease oaky fruitiness
When once we had whooped and swooped through the seasons
And knew the joyous triumph of squeezing
A schpop from not-yet-open purple and red fuchsias

Our fingers no longer green stained
Daisy garlanded and dizzy from the rush of things

website maintained by michelle bernard - contact m.bernard@anglia.ac.uk - last updated February 27, 2006