Guest Poem by Myra Schneider

Myra Schneider’s most recent collection is Siege and Symphony (Second Light Publications), 2021. Poet Marvin Thompson, Literature Officer for Wales, listed it in Poetry Review as one of his choices for 2021. Her other publications include books about personal writing. She has had 11 full collections of poetry published and her work has been broadcast on Radio BBC4 and BBC3. A new collection Believing in the Planet, is due from Poetry Space in May 2024. She is consultant to the Second Light Network for Women Poets and has run poetry workshops and seminars since the mid 1990s.

Brussel Sprouts

When the February sky is weighty with clouds and the wind,
a ferocious animal, knocks over fences and rickety sheds,
rushes rubbish down streets, rocks trees madly,
tears off their branches and crashes any it can to the ground,

when the paper is packed with such grim news
you throw it out, take a bagful of Brussel sprouts,
those small globes that grow on thick stalks
topped with floppy leaves. You’ll be surprised

to discover these hardy winter characters
are axillary buds from which long stems would sprout
and yellow flowers bloom if they’re left in the ground.
Pick one up, hold it between thumb and index finger,

gaze at its fresh-faced shine and consider its construction
which is more subtle than a work of art. Feel
the dense layers, they fit together more tightly
than the dressing gown and duvet you pull round your body

as you lie in bed in the winter trying to fend off reality,
more tightly than a rosebud’s many petals. Simmer
these small vegetables for a few minutes, then sit down
and savour the warmth and goodness of each tiny ball.