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That Garden was About Twenty Feet Square

by Cathy Bryant

Willows in the garden, mocking me
with possibilities of grace and relaxation.
There's a bush with big white berries
we mustn't eat. There's my vegetable patch
where I picked my lone carrot too soon,
blooming with pride in the two-inch vegetable.

I must escape my family. Indoors is crowded
with quarrels and violence and lies.
Outside the air is kind. I will dig to China.

A foot down, a power cable bars the way.
I have to stop, defeated by power I didn't
vote for. Could I live under the willows?
Such welcoming umbrellas! Such peace!

But I'm hungry. I'm being called. The hook
of family draws me in inexorably. Time
to cough in the ever-present smoke.
Time to eat and be shouted at, at the table.
Through it, an image is taking root in me
- an idea for the future: the willow withes
that bend to eternity and travel everywhere,
when cut away from the trapped tree.

Cathy Bryant worked as a life model, civil servant and childminder before
writing as a profession. She has won 27 literary awards and contests,
including the Wergle Flomp Humorous Poetry Contest and the Bulwer-
Lytton Fiction Contest, and she has had over 250 poems and stories
published. Cathy co-edited the anthologies Best of Manchester Poets vols.
1, 2, and 3 and has had two books of poetry published: 'Contains Strong
Language and Scenes of a Sexual Nature' and 'Look at All the Women',
plus a nonfiction book: 'How to Win Writing Competitions'. See Cathy's
listings for cash-strapped writers at:
World's Best Poems, p. 18

That Garden Was About Twenty Feet Square

by Cathy Bryant
(Disley, Cheshire East, England)

First Place: UK Poetry Contest #1
Top UK Poet: UK Poetry Contest #1
Originally Published in
UK Poetry Magazine, September 8, 2018
"That Garden was About Twenty Feet Square" by Cathy Bryant
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