Fall/Winter 2015-2016

Pippa Little


Big as a steamroller, grandiose and slow,
oblivious to hedgerow or wall
he comes through white dawn
to my garden at Simrishamn.

Dawn is his time ~ and mine:
I know he would have the smell of the woods on him,
their deep cold, as if in some dream
I had touched him, and remembered.

Mesmerised by roses
he nuzzles their icicle whites, their damasks
heavy-petticoated for this cold coast;
I can almost feel

their fondant snag his woolly tongue,
in his unhurried chew
melt to ambrosia, salt-sweet, 
and lick my lips for happiness,

begrudge him nothing,
even the splayed-leg largesse
that leaves a sepia corsage upon my lawn:
only when he is entirely gone

do I  taste his breath,
like the coming of snow
on the wind from the west, from the south,
winter,  but with roses in it, somewhere.
 Simrishamn is in the south west of Sweden where elks love to eat roses and often invade gardens to do so


Pippa Little is Scots and lives near the sea in Northumberland, North East England. Her collection Overwintering, from Carcanet Press in 2012, was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize. She is a Royal Literary Fellow at Newcastle University.



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