In front of the big house,
a wall made long ago.
Caerbwdi purple sandstone,
solid standing greys and blues.
Washed with soft green,
colour of the moorland mists.
In places rough enough to catch,
scratch at my black school shoes.
In places slick enough to slip on,
polished by the slugs and snails.
Here, I danced like a prima.
Below, a long narrow patch,
spreadeagled to the sun,
rows and rows of little fires.
Dahlias, on the lam from Mexico,
in my grandfather’s glowing garden.
Growing fierce, throwing heat,
bigheaded and blowsy
just the same.
There he would be, hard hands
snipping blooms, bending double
from the waist, braces strained.
Seeing the prima, he would stand,
lift up his cap, dishevel his dark hair
and from a pocket take his teeth,
put them in and smile ceramic.
Standing tall as Bendigeidfran
offering the prima a bouquet
Bendigeidfran – A legendary Welsh giant.
Catherine Baker has been published by Prole, Stand, Snakeskin, Atrium and Amaryllis. She was highly commended in the Prole Poet Laureate competition 2020. Catherine’s poems in anthologies include Poetry from Gloucestershire, Ways to Peace and Pandemic Poetry. In the GWN poetry competition she was runner-up in 2018 and highly commended in 2020.