Peter Sansom

3 Poems

Poetry Society

i.m. Sarah Maguire

Sarah half a lifetime ago I met you
in a meeting at the top of Betterton Street.
I remember your tank-commander’s watch
exactly an hour wrong.  You were one year older
and half a lifetime further on.  I think
we made each other frivolous, though you
were serious in your art, just as I imagine
in how you lived.  So many spoke
because of you.  Except for poems I only knew
you were a gardener.  Your project
was nurturing also, a public space, your words
there in the soil, so many cuttings and changings.
A sort of translation.  You said translation
was the opposite of war.  We said our paths
must cross in this small world, but I met you again
only in poems, your own, unmistakable, and
those Latin names gathered in Flora Poetica,
the real meaning of anthology. Opening it today
is to step into bright shade, so many perfumes
and the promise where no day was, though
in that society there was a roof to sit out on
in the sun to talk and drink and read
in the middle of London, in the middle
of all those words and reputations – your own
not least now your work outlives you
all that unbelievable short time ago.



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