She’s a bunch of freshly picked cornflowers,
Thrown into a thick-cut glass jug,
As beautifully wild as the students
In that skinny blue house on Wellington St.
And when the petals fall, she’s the resilient stalk,
Holding on in a sterile maternity ward,
Breastfeeding as if her life depended on it.
She’s the middle of the day,
When Greeks are baking aubergines,
Appetites are burning,
And sun-kissed twenty-somethings are flirting with retzina.
She’s the bubbles of prosecco,
Racing around pubs in Clifton,
Rising faster than the bar tab,
On graduation day.
She’s the murmur of tipsy voices,
Trying to be quiet on Hogmanay,
As kids sleep next door,
With a peaked-too-soon Cornishman on the side.
She’s a vintage sofa,
Welcoming my vintage boyfriends,
A place where dogs nestle with newborns.
She’s an oversized cardigan
That wraps around me when I’m shivering –
From loneliness, impatience,
Or substandard testosterone.
She’s the text in an interview,
Reminding me that ‘I can’,
Encouraging me to dig deep,
And show them what I’m made of.
She’s a feast in family wartime,
The one that nourishes the nest,
Keeping siblings, and friends,
Safe and well fed.
She’s 20 years of love, support,
Forgiveness and understanding,
11,000 miles from here,
But only a phone call away.
She’s my dearest friend,
And she’s Abby.