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1 July 2020updated 09 Sep 2021 2:39pm

Rhododendron

A new poem by Kathryn Simmonds.

By Kathryn Simmonds

Anything now brings her to mind.  In the wrong 

dullness of May it is the rhododendron bush 

manufacturing   its impossible flowers, 

great shaggy petals of cerise,       that 80s shade 

which once was everywhere. 

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Evening’s fetch & carry done, 

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my girls are settling to sleep,   their small histories

boggle and blur   beneath a first light layer of dream.

The garden spreads with shadow greens and greys 

but still the rhododendron flares, 

and there’s my mother, patient at her mothering, 

stationed outside a cubicle in Tammy Girl

re-hanging blouses I’ve cast off, 

their crumpled hot-pink petals scattering the ground. 

Kathryn Simmonds is the author of a novel and two poetry collections, “Sunday at the Skin Launderette” and “The Visitations”, all published by Seren.

This article appears in the 01 Jul 2020 issue of the New Statesman, Anatomy of a crisis