I was outside in the square dull of garden
when I realised I couldn’t draw a ghost.
The page waited patiently like the future
and my eye held what was supposed to fill it.
The narrow path which didn’t deserve its name
was an appropriate stage and bedding plants,
urged to grow unimaginatively, watched me choke.
The scattering of bluebells, not even a full
family, said, Be like us wild under the privets.
They had no idea what a forest was
as they smirked down at manufactured soil.
In my hand there was a ghost and my arms
built the castle which would have chilled
anyone who saw it. I can see it.
The things that didn’t materialise queue
still, the ghost up front waits in my fingers,
I save every first page for him.
Janet Rogerson’s poems have been published in various journals and her pamphlet A Bad Influence Girl is published by The Rialto. She co-organises the Manchester reading series Poets & Players.