I didn’t know what it was like until once 

near the pond at Castle Howard 

Arboretum my mother said, 

Can you see the meadowsweet?

Perhaps I'd have thought it was cow 

parsley if it weren’t for its honey scent.

I was reminded of this yesterday 

as I glanced out of the train window 

and there were stalks of it along

the railway line, flashing by

like clotted cream on a fork.

Then I thought of the seeds I bought 

in Wells which never sprouted,

the plant I dug up from the roadside 

that was dead before I got it home,

and wondered whereabouts in a Devon 

lane any of it grows, after which 

my great-aunt's cottage was named.


◄ Great-Aunts

Esther Breuer ►


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