Lilies of the Valley

At four or five they gave to me
A bed of Granddad’s un-worked land
Between the shed and garden path
And end-stopped by the water butt.

The old man helped me dig and plant.
Next Spring I watched the leaves unfurl,
The buds break into tiny bells
That turned from green to arctic white.

I was excited – pleased as punch –
The day the flowers made a show,
Ready for bed, I scampered out
Bursting with pride for one last look.

A thrush sang from the lilac blooms –
I couldn’t name the bird or tree –
I only knew that beauty’s found
In birdsong, sun, sweet fragrances.

Hearing my name, I straightened up
From land I’ve planted and reclaimed;
Somehow the evening has moved on
With all the shadows lengthening…

I gather up pyjamaed son,
Wondering where the time has gone.



Patrick B. Osada recently retired as Reviews Editor for SOUTH Poetry Magazine. He has published seven collections, From The Family Album was launched in October 2020. Patrick’s work has been broadcast on national and local radio and widely published in magazines, anthologies and on the internet.