Un-mown the front garden, the grass long. Like hay, no flowers in the borders, how could there be when nobody can bend down to plant them? They want me to mow the lawn, but I can’t. I call a man who has an industrial mower, a hay-maker, and he comes and does the job, front and back, within half an hour. Even with a scythe, it would have taken me a couple of days.

The magnolia tree leans low across the red-brick wall that separates the house from the street. White butterflies, its petals, blown on the wind, and its perfume regaling our noses of the waft of the wind. We leave the ground floor windows open during the daylight hours so we can take in the thick, rich, delicate scent.

     Pale and delicate, a cabbage white butterfly floats into our yard from the road. The roses are not yet in bloom, more thorn than rose. A sudden gust blows the butterfly across the garden and it shreds its snow-white wing upon a thorn: sudden shriek of white against wall and grass.

     Looking back, remembering  how I cast her ashes over the sea, thoughts pound in my head like waves on that Gower beach. Each word is a grinding of small pebbles. Mother, you are a swift river of blood contained within my skin and bones.

7 thoughts on “Butterfly

    • Thank you, Roland. I hope I will be capable of joyous, not tearful, poetry after the big game on Saturday. I am amazed that, after more than fifty years in Canada, I can still be caught up in the atmosphere of what I still think of as Cardiff Arms Park.


      • I am completely baffled by Brexit. I am too distant to feel the emotions, though I sense they are very deep on both sides. Some of my correspondents (again from both sides) are so deeply hurt and angered by what is happening and how it is happening. I also fear that whatever the final result, the United Kingdom may not remain united much longer. Freudian slip: I typed ‘Untied Kingdom’ and corrected it. To be honest, I am just happy to be at a safe distance in Canada, and in a relatively quiet corner of it too.


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