©COPYRIGHT CATHY GRINDROD
// ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2015
Flowers for my Father
I will grow ivy round your tombstone,
green, glossy, deep dark as ink –
lovestone, bindwood, to obscure your dates,
your name, creep its trembling feelers
round your coffin, forge nerve pathways,
root twitching tendrils in your earth.
May it find you, unrelenting; clamp your limbs,
grip you in its stranglehold the way
in those last months you clung and clung.
I will plant snowdrops on your grave;
milk-flowers, fair maids for February.
With bare thumbs, I will push
those wrinkled bulbs inside the earth,
indent your forehead, press your face
beneath my fingernails – wound herbs
from ancient monasteries to ease
your bruise, your poor septic finger –
deathflowers to bring you friendship.
I will pick snowdrops from your grave,
flowers spread from the food of your bones.
A bowl for our house will purify.
I will bring inside these corpses
in their shrouds, unlucky charms,
hang the first shoots of the year
upon my bedhead. I shall be Eve,
leaving Eden, the angel turning snowflakes
into flowers for Spring, to comfort me.
(also pub Lancaster LitFest Competition Winners Anthology, 2006)