Summer Visits – Guest Post by Felicity Ridnell Reid…

Until my parents died, I came almost every year to spend a little time with them in Norfolk. Returning made me question whether I was coming home or really just a visitor. But I always knew that there was no other place quite like theirs! A haven of flowery scents, where even the greenery contributed to the overall perfume of “home”, it may have been only the damp which gave it that special smell, but special is was.

At My Mother’s House

In between visiting

and coming home,

light slices planes

into peaceful patterns.

Night sinks silent, as morning

hums. A milkman’s cart

rises with the day.

Footsteps, clinking glass,

damp bushes rustle, snap.

A quiet green smell slips

in through open windows.

In mossy corner, next the step

bottles hold their ground,

foil tops glistening.

A sudden clatter—

beating wings—sparrows,

robins, blue-tits drum

a grand advance. Foil

tears and cream’s laid bare.

A handful of crumbs fans

from an opened door.

Birds regroup, touch down;

crumbs less contentious

than cream, can’t be ignored.

Greenness, the essence of English gardens, is distilled for me in Andrew Marvell’s famous lines about the garden’s power of

Annihilating all that’s made 

To a green thought in a green shade.’ 

Felicity Sidnell Reid

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