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Bridget Khursheed: a poem

The garden at Elibank or Mucklemouthed Meg

What can grow on the north side?

Briars and apples bloom

& the medlar in the corner all bedecked

with snow in big-gobbed petals,


gaudy flowers with stamens of haw

frost in the rubble-stone wall

keeping the beasts beyond in the barmkin.

Terracing and coloured grit parterre


that the herd made for her –

traceried key in a postern gate –

unknotted by this white field

fret with crows.


My lady's lips at the window

blowing raw breath into another storm:

you can't will paradise up here

look south, my dear, and pray.


Once your sun and souter side,

the end of meadow hay and summer hours

I would have hung for you –

but you only care for flowers.

Bridget Khursheed is a poet and geek based in the Scottish Borders. Her collection The last days of petrol is available from Shearsman Books and she is widely published in magazines including Ambit, The Rialto, Abridged, New Writing Scotland, Zoomorphic and Gutter. She is a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award winner for poetry and her video poem Dead Loss was commissioned for the Scottish Poetry Library Vision 2020 project. You can find her on Instagram here: @poetandgeek.


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