In late winter I sowed so many seeds,
spending time in a blindly hopeful gamble:
covered them in dirt knowing nothing
would appear at all for weeks, if ever.
Petulant frost did for some, one starred night
when the greenhouse door was left wide open;
heat did for more when scorching sun crippled
through radiating glass that should protect.
In April, I planted out, after what
I’d heard was the last of the cold. It wasn’t.
Demeter’s grief had miles further to run,
adding to my hurt. Nodding bedding plants,
begonia and petunia, lost their heads.
Little red mouths stopped smiling. Frozen
corpses lay in that cold bed, unblanketed.
My daughter, high priestess of Pinterest
taste, helped with re-planting. She wore
my gloves, hands nearly my size,
I had to show her how to break hard ground.
I watched her choose new places, pattern earth.
So more of that blasted blind hope returns,
with Persephone, broadcast to the winds.
Ted Gooda is a West Sussex poet, ghostwriter and teacher. She is editor for the National Writing Project (UK), and the ghost of a series of foster carer books by Louise Allen (writing as Theresa McEvoy), the most recent of which, Eden’s Story reached the Sunday Times Top Ten general bestsellers list in February 2021. She lives, not far enough from the madding crowd, with her husband, three children and a flock of hens.
Seeds by Ted Gooda received a special mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (April 2021) judged by Mary Anne Smith Sellen.