A Love Note
So familiar, it’s like I’ve known you all my life.
There’s childish satisfaction
in breaking and popping open
your spiky green protection to pull you out;
wet and sticky like a newborn, fresh and shiny.
Your deep colour is like antique furniture;
glowing reds and browns. I bring you close
and see you have a pattern: irregular, concentric swirls,
like petrol on town puddles.
But in memory you remain quite pure and even.
Only one patch is different; light-coloured and rougher to touch;
not quite round – like a pale areola on a dark breast.
You fascinate children, pull them to you.
Easy to harvest on a good year; so tempting to collect.
My big brother taught me how to play the old game
of your name; we would all walk a long way
to find a really good tree.
I remember patiently threading you,
then stinging, red, sore knuckles
– broken conker; broken heart.
My girls just pocket you for later; for treasure. No wonder –
you’re so good to feel, so easily held, playable with.
Your bumpy shape feels as though you were formed by hand,
like a quality chocolate from an ornate box.
And you contain so much potential.
Looking up from the feet of your parent it’s hard to believe
you could burst forth under the moist soil and become as this giant;
this massive beast with solid trunk, strong branches
spreading out abundant leaves like hands;
out-stretched to collect life from the sun,
roots delving even deeper to drink from the earth.
I think I’ll keep you a while in my pocket,
fingers and thumb revolve your gentle
weight again and again, like a meditation or a prayer.
Nature, all stored up in a shiny, dark little package.
Copyright © Katy Ewing 2014
Katy Ewing writes poetry and prose and draws and paints portraits and illustration. Her work has been published in various places including Gutter, Octavius, Far Off Places, From Glasgow to Saturn, Earthlines and New Writing Scotland.