Maureen Boyle

Incunabula II

My father made his first garden in that house in Liggartown facing the Sperrins.

He named it Lynwood after a military march, my uncle’s was Belphegor

Tiny bricks came out of red metal moulds like magic, like jellies.

He riddled the soil for stones like flour, the mixing of cement an alchemy

of sand and turpentine  that made rainbow colours  in the well and chimed

with the bubble in his spirit level.  He planted swathes of Siberian orange wallflower perfumed for christenings and birthdays that lived up to its name

as the bee flower alive with sound. Michaelmas Daisies were September flowers

and Livingstones fascinated when their pastel petals went to bed at night

opening up to the sun like us each day. Peppery lupins we anthropomorphised

 into characters we visited on our bikes around the lawns – the purple lupin

was the teacher’s house, the white the doctor’s.  Lilac and flowering currant

 were the smells of my May altar  and we had baby gardens of polyanthus

the word seeming to grow in me as much as the flower.