Blade of Grass
And Jasmine played in meadow grass,
speedwell tangled, yarrow creeping,
tongues curled on back of question:
who survives the quest for life?
It was always the grass, even in drought
tufts of it sprouting, inviting her back
to play with its blades like older kids,
games adopted as her own.
Pick a blade, place to lips, blow clean and even,
the aim to cut the summer air with tiny lacerations,
sound so clear a passing bird might hear,
return its mother’s call.
At times the blade’s edge, too sharp,
split her lip, blood trickling down chin
to thumbs dropping lament on new lawns,
her swollen sigh weeping to be heard.
Jasmine’s breath is lost in grass,
mixed with grubby soil, uprooted weed,
while mother, adoptive father stand
accused of cropping lilies.
(Jasmine Beckford died July 1984, aged 4 years.)
Kate Young lives in Kent and is passionate about poetry and literature. After retiring, she has returned to writing and has had success with poems published in magazines internationally and in Great Britain. She is presently editing her work and writing new material, particularly in response to ekphrastic challenges.