The peaches were so good that year
were so
translucent dense dewy sweet
their flesh so
velvet yellow insistent clinging
their flavour
at some holy nectar pinnacle.
They arrived in a row
in a clear rounded box like a plastic bra.

They went out with a bang.

The planet was so good that year
in places, was so
so extra blue and green
could crack your heart in half
with the way its sunlit branches lay
outstretched, like hands full of offerings
their trees standing solemn and occasionful
like the best candlesticks; bracken
high and hairy-shouldered –

we embedded in its mesh
in our country in the north
motionless in the ticking heat

from where we watched scrappy butterflies
more magnetic than ever
flash to and fro.

We just sat, watched, waited.

We realised the hedgerow and us
were more or less the same thing.
We ordered some chairs online.
It was a good year for outdoor furniture.

That went out with a bang.

We rubbed grass seeds like ticks into our gums
burdock, sneezed
The plums were so plentiful that year. So quenching.

We were just waiting for winter.
And after winter. The things after that.

Joanna Guthrie first collection, Billack’s Bones, was published by RIALTO in 2007; second collection, Water Person Kit, is recently completed. Published in Poetry Review, The Rialto; Poetry Ireland Review, Magma, etc and, for non-fiction, The Guardian. She is involved in Climate Cultures and Extinction Rebellion.