The garden is just gravel until Spring

by Ruby Dunn


Every day the crocuses and columbine dare to open,
Colouring carpets and canopies to name themselves:
They have done this every March for twenty-three years.
You told me I was a daughter of the King and I took that
To heart, pushed space between every blade of grass and pebble,
Ferociously filling this place with every blade and shard of me.
Now, I try to fold the growing world in, like new milk,
Writing the history of each untested morning:
And in that time, they carried me here.
There will be enough days, won’t there – in this year
To fit forgiveness round my tongue? Enough miles
To admit that all that feeling never made me selfish?
It taught me short prayers: it dredged them from me;
Honesty became as easy as red wine –
Altogether bruised and sweet.
Next door’s cat slinks through the crocuses and
Forgives me every day for breaking their stems.
I snatch at them, helpless. My arms are full of columbine.
It has been like this for twenty-three years:
And in that time, they carried me here.




Ruby Dunn is a history student in Scotland. Her degree, her faith and her natural surroundings prompt her to explore the world she is being welcomed into, both personally and poetically. Her work has been published by Trampset, the Soor Ploom Press and the Hyacinth Review, among others. As a writer she’s never quite sure if she’s emerging or retiring, but she’s usually just glad to be involved.