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  • Lauren Galligan

Nan's garden

At the bottom of the garden the little girl plays.

It is spring and the sun is warm in this spot,

Filtered through the gaps in the blue arbour bench —

It smells fresh with a new lick of paint.

The little girl swings her legs,

Not tall enough for feet to touch the ground,

And the grandmother watches,

Hands on hips, kissed by the afternoon sun.

She is a gardener, at this time in her life.

A gardener, and a painter, and a holiday-goer,

She is yet to know of sickness, surgery, endless hospital stays;

She has two eyes, at this time — the little girl remembers that.

The grandmother pulls weeds from the soil and plants bulbs in the gentle spring heat,

Lifts the stepping stones and shows the little girl the bugs that hide there,

The big spiders cowering in the tool shed,

The bees that come hungry into this garden of abundance.

To the little girl the bottom of the garden is another world entirely,

Where things come and go and bloom and grow.

She too is yet to know of sickness, of a loss so great it takes the sun out the sky.

She only knows be gentle, be soft,

The quiet patter of the one-eyed cat along the back fence,

And the hum of life that fills the late April air.

Her grandmother, gentle, kind, gardener, painter,

Standing in the sun at the bottom of the garden.

Writer's Bio:

Lauren Galligan (she/her) is a fourth year English Literature student a the University of Edinburgh, originally from Merseyside. She is also Editor-in-Chief of The Broad! Her writing explores themes such as friendship, love, mother-daughter relationships and loss.

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