to stand up like a beam to her full height in new shoes printed with galaxies plugged into the world winking at the end of her charger and what is left shines swept out of her clear eyes not a shame, not a shrinking a switch that straight connected neck a mast –
far below, dead ends on the floor flicker with static.
Nothing is ever quite that colour. Not ladybirds, not lipstick, Not a single felt tip from the tipped-up box, Not flags, or fish, or cherryade. Not the flush of snowday cheeks, pinked Blusher called geranium or the garnet on her knuckly finger. Not blood, or oranges.
Her door would open and The summer smell of the colour of geranium would reach for us. Pots lined up along the skirting boards and crowded the Crowded kitchen, colouring in every step and shelf, Every sill and seat, every sister.
My garden fizzes with flagrant geraniums. I bring them in from the snow, and keep my house warm, And line up red lipsticks that are never, quite, that colour.
For us These are key, bright kindnesses Like teaspoons; Yellowmittens on a sharp morning A warmer hand in the staffroom Or at the vets once, with an empty cage. These squeezes, first-flutter easy - Peasy as please - thank you
Like the brief and everywhere drizzle Of lemon in that cake.