Pim Claridge

Life in the Scottish Borders, one stanza at a time

Straw Otters

Do you remember wild garlic in the lanes,
the freshness of its green and white,
cool flagstones in the kitchen
and the crimson rose outside?
and our walk through that rainstorm
on windswept Dartmoor,
and the tea, and the hot cinnamon toast,
how we cried from the smoke of your fire.
do you remember
the day Nancy-next-door fell down the stairs
and knocked the top off the dresser,
we laughed till we cried.
and the wreck at Stoke Gabriel, and that cat,
and the kitten we kept...Moppet,
only she didn’t stay.
then the ball at Christmas. me in gold lame,
and our wedding tracked in snow!
do you remember
watercress by the road to Dorchester
and the pub with new thatch
and those straw otters on the roof.
do you remember
your old tweed jacket with pockets that sag
and you laid it down in the mud
for me in my silly high heels.
now it hangs limply, unable to hug,
but if I wrap it around me
and close my eyes,
I remember wild garlic in the lanes...