Flowers From My Mother
She’d watch foxgloves by the window,
elegant, erect, preferring partial shade,
gladed at untamed garden’s edge.
They drew her, out alone in chill air
to propagate them on paper, water-coloured
as breeze-ripple dipped their heads
to her paint, her attentiveness of eye and hand.
Transplanted to an indoor nook
their vigil of flowering lived the drift
of sometimes cherished, sometimes overlooked.
Pink blooms pulsed with secrets,
plump for the nuzzle of unseen bees.
Outdoors, cooling petals wilted into winter,
seeds scuffed in soiled darkness.
Now framed in my room these silent bells
soft-toned as shells, twilight, ghosts
are transfigured in a creamy haze of glade
no longer wreathed by green-dusk gloom.
They stand as she imaged them, centred
in a kindness of light, her landscape of mind:
Digitalis purpurea, cordial for my heart.
On this windless wall they nod again.
Julia D McGuinness
Julia D McGuinness is a poet, counsellor and writing therapist based in Cheshire, England. She runs writing workshops for creativity and well-being, including work with cancer patients. Her poems have appeared online at Ink, Sweat and Tears, Riggwelter and Amaryllis among others, and in her collection Chester City Walls. In August 2019 she becomes Chester Cathedral’s Poet-in-Residence. You can find her at www.creativeconnectionscheshire.co.uk .
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