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This poem is taken from PN Review 262, Volume 48 Number 2, November - December 2021.

Four Sonnets Rachel Spence
Sonnet for My Mother

Late May 2020, you and your garden
resisting lockdown beneath a thatch of birdsong
bristling with escapee coos, fugitive whistles,
your feral spirit bursting through coups d’état
of foxgloves, monkshood, salvia the colour
of pomegranates held by Christ Children,
their mothers gazing forwards to the Passion.
So once you gazed at me, so now I…
No, let’s retell. My Madonna is a fighter,
rejecting dead men’s histories, watching
lemon light on sapling birches, the golden moss
of bumble bees, their delicate, obsessive turning,
learning to count time as grains that whirl
not flow, spinning us back to love’s defiant zero.



Salutation for my Father
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