3 poems by Chrissie Gittins

YOU MISTAKE YOURSELF FOR A LUNA CORONA

Halos beam around my face

               like oncoming headlights.

                        I stop a stream of traffic in Manitoba,

             drivers spill onto the road

      clutching their phones and cameras,

they point their lenses to the glowering sky.
>

It’s the rainbows they’re after –

         where the light bends around drops of ice.

                                      They will print out their shots

             then hang me in their front windows

     for children to point at as they pass by

on their daily walks, dawdling.

YOU MISTAKE YOURSELF FOR A BANANA ON THE SHELF AT BUDGENS

We’ve no choice but to curve together,

my bunch at a safe distance from the next.

Displayed at six in the morning, by eight-thirty I’m sold.

Packed in a bag with the last pack of wholewheat pasta,

a box of in-date free-range eggs, a pot of no-fat yogurt.

I jostle for space with tins of sweetcorn

and a bag of carrots made opaque with a photo of carrots.

She drives smoothly until hitting a sleeping policeman,

forgets to wear gloves to unpack,

holds me under a cold tap lowering 

her allostatic load. I lie in the beechwood fruit bowl 

practising mindfulness meditation, 

expressing gratitude for my safe passage 

from Costa Rica.

She mostly eats one with breakfast, another 

when face-timing a friend.

I’m the last one left in the bowl, 

the blotches join up on my skin, 

my yellow shrinks 

to the shape of a daisy petal. 

Totally black 

I wait and wait to be picked.

The sounds of the house 

slowly fade away.

YOU MISTAKE YOURSELF FOR AN ALLOTMENT

My plum and cherry blossom are profound,

I will try to manage more than one single cherry this year.

As for those moths which get inside your plums –

you can get some sort of pheromone trap. They’re green.

You’ve left the lemon yellow flowers on last year’s 

black kale for long enough.

The cardoon which used to flourish from

underneath the corner of the shed has barely sprouted.

Remember last year you planted purple beans

too soon – they shivered to a shrivel.

I like the way you leave the aquilegias

wherever they may grow.

There’s hope of purple broad beans,

maroon tomatoes, custard yellow courgettes,

an orange squash streaked with green –

which should be very sweet.

You could try again with aubergines.

This is the only future you can grow.

About the contributor

Chrissie Gittins' third poetry collection Sharp Hills was published by Indigo Dreams in 2019. She appeared with her fifth children's poetry collection Adder, Bluebell, Lobster (Otter-Barry Books) on BBC Countryfile. Her second short story collection Between Here and Knitwear (Unthank Books) was shortlisted for the Saboteur Awards.

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