growing in the corner of the garden
and she tending to it the way some women
treat their dogs like substitute children.
Nightly, she listens to the pop of bulb,
creak of stem, rhubarb crowns
breaking through the shoddy.
In daytime, she sees in every leaf
the continent of Africa,
each with its own Cape of Good Hope.
She has adopted the likeness of rhubarb,
taken to baring her pink arms and legs,
clothes exhaling the familiar tang
wherever she goes.
Then, when picking day comes,
she releases the stalks, one by one,
from the rhizome with a twist-and-pull
the way some women compulsively
pull the hairs from their heads.
Copyright © Marion McCready 2014
Marion McCready is the winner of the Melita Hume Poetry Prize (2013) and a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award (2013). Her poetry pamphlet collection, Vintage Sea, was published by Calder Wood Press (2011) and her first full-length collection, Tree Language, will be published Spring 2014 by Eyewear Publishing.