All along the road to Sutton Bingham, I kept saying your name –
Zaluzianskya, Zaluzianskya – so as not to forget it. I’d never heard anything
so voluptuous. The way they talked about you on the radio, your vanilla fragrance,
your origins in the Drakensberg mountains (perhaps I’d once trodden on you!),
your double-lobed petals coloured crimson on the underside. I kept thinking
when I get home, I’m going to find out everything there is to know about you.
I’m going to buy seeds and grow pots of you along all the window sills.
I gripped the steering wheel – and laughed and – I HADN’T EVEN SEEN YOU!
It would be like having a child in the house again.
With a name like that you would have been a bold revolutionary girl,
throwing stones at the totalitarians, telling the truth about everything.
Everyone would have wanted to know you.
Everyone would have wanted to be on your side.
Everyone would have wanted to call out your name:
ANNIE FREUD is a poet, artist and teacher. Her first full poetry collection (Picador 2007), The Best Man That Ever Was received the Dimplex Award for New Writing (Poetry) and was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. The Mirabelles, her second collection (Picador 2011) was a Poetry Book Society Choice and was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. She teaches poetry composition and is renowned for her live performances. She is working on a third collection, the Remains, to be published in June 2015.