Snapdragons

Snapdragons transport me
back to father’s gardens –
the pleasure of pinching
delicate flower mouths

forbidden as I was, tiny
feet banished from tiers
of ordered colours, how
he worshipped those rows

hours spent on knees,
as if in prayer, attention
lavished on nurturing
growth while I shrivelled

at the sidelines, longed
to dig beside him, sully
my hands and share
a passion, ignorant of

an inner drive to weed
out imperfections, felt
only walls of separation,
the coldness of perfection

and in my wilful way,
rebelled against taboos,
tiptoed through the soil
and pinched snapdragons.

 

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