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featured poet, Angela Kirby

Angela Kirby

Brain Coral

She is not sure about things
any more, or why she is here –
all day long she falls
through the holes in her head
into nowhere, forgetting
her house and her garden.
There, her gloves, trowel,
secateurs and galoshes
wait for her where she left them
in the potting shed,
her terrace is clotted with thyme,
Reine des Violettes
arches over the walls,
the ammonites in the rockery
curl and spiral inward,
everything is as she planned
At the visiting hour
he brings in a posy
of wild roses and cow-parsley,
tells her that the swallows
are flying lower than usual,
that the death’s head hawk-moth
has not yet been seen
and that the wood-pigeons
call to him, as always,
it’s your fault,
don’t you know?
The brain coral they found
on their last holiday together
keeps the door propped open.

Angela Kirby

1st Prize, BBC Wildlife Poet of the Year Competition, 2001;
published in BBC Wildlife Magazine, 2001;
read on ‘Poetry Please’ and on ‘Women’s Hour’, 2001;
in collection, Mr. Irresistible, Shoestring Press, 2005