A Poem by Kathryn Alderman

Unconditional

Just you and me, and the tchck, tchck
of your hobnails, spading
stony grey buttercream
for the patio.

I love your talk of optimal ratios —
sand, water, cement,
but it’s hard to stay rapt
when the world’s a grassy bank
with worms to scream at,
and stepping-stone ants who promise
other means of construction.

If you’d wanted a boy
you never said.
Applauded my preference
for daisy chain decoration,
yum-yummed over mud pie teas.

Later, I learned
how you layered rare elements
to buttress my shaky mettle.

Now I spade up that same blend
of unconditional
pass it back for you.

…….

…….

Kathryn Alderman was an actor on TV, Radio, Stage and Voice-over before motherhood. She won Canon Poets’ ‘Sonnet or Not’ (2012), came runner-up in Gloucestershire Writers’ Network Competitions (2012) and now co-directs the GWN competition.  Publication includes Amaryllis, Canon’s Mouth, Dear World (Frosted Fire Press, 2014), Salt on the Wind (Elephants Footprint 2015), Last Word in Art (Wilson Art Gallery/Museum 2017). Readings include: BBC Radio 4; Cheltenham Literary and Poetry Festivals; Poetry Can Bristol, Cheltenham’s Buzzwords Poetry Café; Poetry Café Refreshed and with Cheltenham Poetry Festival’s ‘Festival Players’. Kathryn and family are herded around Gloucester by enthusiastic Border collie, Isla.

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