For no good reason, other than that it was growing close to a stone church wall, this flower reminded me of a poem written on a trip to the fiestas in southern Spain.
I remember taking an early draft to the local writers’ group for comments and being disconcerted when one of the women said she felt unqualified to comment because she didn’t know what I meant by kisses.
It’s true that I sometimes use everyday images in my poetry to represent bigger issues, but this wasn’t meant to be any kind of trick.
Sometimes, even when wrapped up in the weird perspective and mixed metaphors of an imperfect poem, a kiss is just a kiss.
Towards a local flora
Kisses grow on the corner
of the village square; they germinate
amid red plastic stacking chairs
and scattered olive stones. Hard
against twelfth century church walls
the double-bodied blossoms stretch
and twine. Like gorse, they bloom
year round – in winter they are often found
in sheltered doorways or jammed
against the scratched perspex
of bus stops – but they flower best
in summer drought and darkness.
They have a tendency to fade