Showing posts from May, 2021

Pruning the laurel

I'm very excited that one of my gardening poems won the 2021 Poems on the Move competition run by the Guernsey Literary Festival and judged by Kate Clanchy, who said:  "Best of all, I like the unexpected: I had never read a poem about feminism and hedge trimming before, and in the end, that supplied our winner." Pruning the laurel Three points of contact with the tree, the way my mother taught me: two feet, one hand, one free to hold the saw. A smell of bay leaves now, pale sawdust on my clothes like flour, the thump as each branch hits the ground. I’m high enough to see across five gardens: wheelbarrows and washing lines, a football goal, a Wendy house. My neighbour steps outside. Where’s hubby then? he asks, his meaning clear. Things must look different from down there. I guess I seem quite small to him, my saw no bigger than a bread knife. Not sure , I say, my eyes on what I’m doing ­– one hand on the saw, three points of contact – What did you want him fo