Poetry Tuesday: Joan McGavin

There is a gingko tree in self’s backyard. Scrawny, it has remained the same height for almost ten years. Nevertheless, it is still alive.


by Joan McGavin, from her first collection, Flannelgraphs (Oversteps, 2011)

I pass two beautiful trees almost every day.
Casting around, in your absence, for a way to say
how I feel about us,
I think about them: I discover a fact:
their kind, fossils tell us, has remained unchanged
one hundred and eighty million years.

In the absence of tablets, stone or wax writing,
In this time of separation, of smallness of gestures,
casting around for a way,
shedding my inhibitions like leaves,
speaking for myself alone,
let’s say: i feel for you what,
loving all its autumns,
the gingko feels for life.

Joan McGavin, the Hampshire Poet 2014, has written two poetry collections, and is a trustee of the Winchester Poetry Festival.

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