My mother loved wild things
like clematis, she had respect
for anything that disregarded perimeters, to hell with the neighbours
and their territorial claims. Maybe that’s more me
than her. Oh, you’re a brat she’d say
like clematis; an extravagance of blooms. I am my mother’s
daughter. I am what she would have been
if it hadn’t been for them. You know they would put me in an institution
for saying what you just said, but even then she said it quietly.
No one needs to flower so furiously,
no one needs to love.
In your honour mother, I’ll mind the wild things.
I’ll feed the feral cat, love the errant boys.
He had a face you could slap, she said that quietly too
l will slap a face for you mother, I will spread like clematis,
taking up more space than I need, indeed, I’ll take back the space they took from you.
Rachel Coventry’s poems have appeared in various journals including The North, The Moth, Poetry Ireland Review, The Irish Times, and The SHop. Her debut collection Afternoon Drinking in the Jolly Butchers is published by Salmon poetry. She tweets @RachelCoventry.