by Sue Foster

South Birmingham only patches of it
verges and parks and the lettuces
at the bottom of our garden and the lawn
like a rug with no daisies or dandelions
penknife plugs executed for less choking of grass.
Not like Wales where the carpets
roll up and over mountains
change to hush velvet valleys
meadows and meanderings
and milk is made by black and white herbivores.
Hospital walls too, Dad worked
in greenness, mildly calming,
the colour of healing when all is lost
and darkness hovers overhead.
‘Walk in the green’ doctors advised, instead of Prozac.
Fresh shoots in February
after brittle January’s long nights
herald hope and warmth, longer days
outside laughter and the good health of walks
on blossoming lanes, up hills and along beaches
where seaweed swims
the only green and in the ocean
of green is God’s colour, if there is a God
and if there isn’t green is calming
and healing and gives life.

Copyright © 2020 Sue Foster





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