Sport 22: Autumn 1999
Diana Bridge — Among Rhododendrons
The way in is a building that sprawls across
your path. On offer: leaflets and a wheelchair.
Here, an hour is time made vivid with the knowledge
of departure. Our steps follow facts pegged
in the discreet earth. Though we hardly know it,
what we seek are names—locations, dates,
campaigns: charged origins. Rhododendron
squadrons fringe a space in the brain,
a clearing where each colour flares
into a separate memory.
Burma is an outsize yellow,
paler than the robes of monks,
frailer than the woman kept under wraps
who watches the future from her garden.
Beside her, September reds clot and darken.
What can be said of that crimson,
free flowing as misjudged love?
You might wear it—a burden in your hair.
Soon you will lose it. Patches of
bell-shaped life compete and
fall. The mountain, ankle-
deep in mulch, is everywhere.