A Botanical Garden in Winter

by Tadeusz Dabrowski

Translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones

Read by Emma Rye

Instead of flowers and annuals in livid snow a forest
of nameplates: Ammobium alatum
(everlasting), Myosotis (forget-me-not),
Textus ubiquitus. All that’s left is to believe
in the roots and tubers buried in the earth.
Though what does it matter in winter? Only
in the palm house is life richly flourishing,
words spiral into stems and leaves, entwining to form
epics and philippics. They wither and rise again
under the caring dome of a plexiglass sky. In a nursery
at the edges of the garden, in perfect order,
new words are already germinating.

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