‘Your garden is pathetic,’ she said.
‘Let me buy some flowers to fill the spaces
where the weeds used to be.’
Off she went to the garden centre
returning armed and dangerous.
She lobbed the first grenade across the flowerbed.
Pow! A lily exploded from the crater.
Pow! Another. Pow! A third.
Of course, we couldn’t tell
what colours they would be
so, after she’d returned to Belfast,
regular reports were requested.
‘Are they blooming yet?’ ‘Not yet’
till, one day, I could see
a triangle of orange. Bloody hell!
Of all the colours, first was Orange Lily
though, growing not in native soil,
she had left off
her customary attire. Dress and hat
umbrella, even knickers
the Union Flag, dancing in July
belligerent and bold in Belfast streets
before the grand parade. If only
she could know her namesake danced
in Fenian soil, she would have died
of shame and bile, as this one has
now less offensive flowers are in bloom.
First published in Reach