Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Poem by Paul Bavister


He grows rare shrubs
in the wood by the lake.

When they get buried
by wet leaves
I rake them clear.

This year a dose of the flu
meant I started late.
I was skint.

My stomach grumbled
with mould-fluffed bread.

After four hours
splintering frozen leaves
the apple and cheese
I'd packed for lunch
had frozen solid.

I swept deeper into the wood
and the ground softened
and butter-bright maggots
recoiled from the rake.

I took off my gloves
and picked one up.
I surprised myself.

Paul Bavister has published three collections of poetry, the most recent being The Prawn Season (Two Rivers Press).  He works as a gardener and also teaches creative writing for The University of Oxford and Birkbeck College, London.

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