Ada in spring
comes out when she’s ready and not before.
In a lilac fleece, risking rain showers,
she hangs her washing – two bleached tea-towels,
an embroidered tablecloth – in the back yard first thing
then sits for a moment on the rickety chair before going
back in, carefully leaving the door half-open behind her.
Ada in autumn
in her old sandals, her favourite gold earrings with the turquoise stone,
is coming down the lane from her overgrown allotment,
heading for home in a rising gale with two plastic carrier bags
bulging with windfalls. We meet by her gate where she leans her stick,
steadies herself, then fills my coat pockets, my rucksack, my arms
with bronze pears and green apples, saying ‘Here pet, have some of these’.
Copyright © Joan Johnston 2015
Joan Johnston works on Tyneside as a part-time adult-education tutor and creative writing facilitator. Has three published poetry collections from Diamond Twig, dogeater, and Red Squirrel presses. A pamphlet is also coming from Red Squirrel Press next spring.