They might have thought I was praying,
knelt so long on the path, and truly my hands
were glad to be down in the dead earth.
Today a man was lifted from the bog. He came out
dark, shining like a length of flexed rope and opened
his inside-out eyes to the sky. I would have said
to leave him be under the bracken and ling
in the bog's orange juices, not to take him
from his own people.
I can almost forget which are my fingers
and which are the worms trickling between them. Perhaps
I look like a beast run to ground, or someone weeping.
In spring these tulips will come up black, stately.
Kathy Towers won Sheffield Hallam University's Ictus Poetry prize in 2005 and her pamphlet Slow Time was published by Mews Press in the same year. She has read her work at the Off the Shelf and Oxford Literary Festivals and is currently completing an MA in Creative Writing at Newcastle University, specialising in poetry.
Kathy lives in the Peak District with her husband and two daughters and works as a freelance copywriter.
Follow the link for a list of other Poems of the Month.
Planting Tulips © 2007 Kathy Towers: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.
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This page last updated 25th April 2007