It's cold enough for you today, I think,
she'd say on Tuesdays when I went to tea,
then rub my bloodless hands from white to pink
and read my palm to see what waits for me.
She taught me how to stop a nettle's sting,
to spot a deadly nightshade's poison bell,
why love can sometimes hurt, why birds can sing,
that some things can't be fixed by magic spells.
She'd lived through wars and men that went away,
once smiling boys, now all that's left are names.
Their photos changed from black and white to grey,
alone she dusts her memory's remains.
Beverly Hughes is a poet and fiction writer. In 2013 she was shortlisted in the formal category of the Poetry on the Lake XIII International Poetry Competition. Beverly has recently completed the Open University's Advanced Creative Writing Course and is currently working on a series of poems about cities and global warming.