I brought the seeds of these sweet peas from Wellington
And stowed them in a cardboard box on a high shelf.
It was too hard to start again.
What was this place? Where should I plant the seeds?
It was a year before I could see the garden
And then only in unexpected glimpses, as through a fog.
When I opened the box the pods had twisted, like DNA.
I cast some carelessly beside the fence.
It didn’t pay to invest love or hope.
Old floorboards were thrown on them.
Sandpit sand was swept on them.
A motorbike parked over them for months.
Like I said, it didn’t pay to invest much love or hope.
And now, a vase full of shining silk.
Each flower, one purple petal and one mauve.
They smell of this memory and that.
They don’t last long in the vase.
It has been an exhausting journey for them.
Their beauty is a butterfly wing’s final fling.
I scatter more of the saved seeds.
I invest love and hope.
I water them. I bring them twiglets to climb.
The putting down of roots that thrive,
The creating and losing of fragile beauty –
And I am vulnerable again, alive.