Dark Soil

You built a house,
sturdy and dry
a promise of safety
and there we grew
under searing blue

You dug a garden
grew potatos,
cabbage
and turnips,
you grew beet
and rocket,
dill and thyme
in the open lines,

You cared
for taste
and flavour.
You sowed
the seeds of
Marigolds, foxglove,
nasturtium
and viola.

Then you
let them run
rampant,
self-seeded
feral beauty
that grew
in black earth
among the crops.

You horded
pelargoniums
under clay crocks
in dry sandy
soil, safe
from winter frost,
to bloom
in hues of pink and
red from June.

You nursed cacti,
a desert garden
in a room of glass
where Sunday
was the ripple
of broadsheets
turning,
the hum of a radio,
farming news
and forecasts.

You built a kingdom
of safety,
of sun and soil,
strawberries
and apple trees.
Summer meadows
and golden
wheat.

And we grew
strong
with your
dark soil
beneath our feet.

-Dave Kavanagh

Dedicated to the memory of a solid and wonderful father.

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