The postman was my friend,
rang the bell, wouldn’t leave
until he’d reached me, handed me
broken stems of roses — thorny
with their heads at crooked angles,
buds that tried but only turned
to rusty paper.

They’d found you by the postbox
wearing just a nightie and your slippers,
holding tight
a watering can — to quench the thirst
of letters and the roses you had sent.
You were smiling, singing love songs,
told the postman they were for me.



Alison Cohen lives in Glasgow where she keeps bees and an allotment. Previously a psychotherapist, she now works at writing poems. She was the winner of 2020 Hugh Miller Poetry Prize.