Glad Rags

     (In memory of Andrea Badenoch)

Bernadette McAloon

Soon your garden will be old
and reveal its fragile bones.
Today it's putting on its best,
shimmying with its arms outstretched.
Young mint grows uncontrollable:
rampant, rebelling, promiscuous, spreading;
old wood is inconsolable
about the orgies in the summer bedding.

One day roses will bear fruit
from their childbearing hips,
borders will learn to fugue and forgive,
eventually fade and find grace
in atrophied artichoke hearts,
in the rags and tags of Jerusalem's face.

Bernadette McAloon

Bernadette McAloon's poems have appeared in various publications including Butcher's Dog, Mslexia, The Rialto, and most recently the Bloodaxe anthology, Land of Three Rivers. She is a recipient of the Basil Bunting Vorse Scribben Award and the Flambard Poetry Prize.

She explains: "Andrea Badenoch was a novelist, teacher and founding co-editor of the Writing Women Journal. She died of breast cancer in 2004 at the age of 52. A vital force in the North-East writing scene, a New Writing North Award was set up in her name.

"I first met Andrea in the early nineties when our children were very young, and she moved next door. We bonded over literature, homeopathic medicine, politics, clothes and crimson lipstick. She created an exquisite garden. Sometimes I fancy I still see her there in all her enigmatic glory."

Bernadette's previous Poem of the Month is Stony Heap.

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Glad Rags © 2018 Bernadette McAloon: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.