Beth McDonough

Mitko’s Rose

I wanted to tell you about Mitko’s rose

how he dug it in, below her open fenster,
to woo Zsuzsa in her student flat.
Just close enough for her to touch,
be dawn’s first scent when she awoke.

I might have mentioned the bud it gave,
or how the next year, it flowered twice?
Three times in the summer after that.

I’d have loved to add
how Zsuzsa unearthed and packed
that rose, put in her suitcase, how she
happit it up amongst books and socks
to take her shrub from German soil
all the cold way to Aberdeen.

If I were sharing this tale,
I’d point out where it thrives
under their northern window.
Well-tended, pruned, established.
Watch it shower blooms
under Mitko and Zsuzsa
as three little ones trike by.
But it isn’t my story to tell,
and some stories are already poems.

I wanted to tell you, but some things
made their own poem first.



Beth McDonough’s poetry appears in CausewayAntiphon,Interpreter’s Houseand elsewhere; she reviews in DURAHandfast (2016, with Ruth Aylett) explores family experiences – Aylett’s of dementia. and McDonough’s of autism. She was recently Writer in Residence at Dundee Contemporary Arts.

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