This is a love poem about my parents. They were both keen gardeners, but Shetland is not conducive to gardening. Summer temperatures are low and the wind ever-present. However the relatively short growing season is supplemented by long hours of summer daylight. As this is a short poem, I'll read an English version first.

Love in a cold climate


It wasn’t his wooden paling
nor the stone latticework set
to break the wind, nor
the heather he stuffed
between fences; nor

the seaweed he tore from the foreshore
and turned and turned, nor
his fingers breaking clods;
nor was it the sun picking things out
gently. No, it was
the dream she planted
and the praise within her look
as she staked it, willing
the one rose to open,
to hold twilight.

Love in a caald climate

Hit wisna his widden palin
nor da openwark o steyns set
ta brak da wind, nor
da hedder he prammed
atween fences; nor

da tang he tör fae da ebb
an turned an turned, nor
his fingers brakkin clods;
nor wis hit da sun scrimin
peerie-wyes. Na, hit wis

da draem shö plantit
an a rösin ithin her luik
as shö stakit hit, willin
da wan rose ta oppen,
ta hadd mirknen.

from North End of Eden: Poems in English and Shetlandic (Luath Press, 2010), © Christine De Luca 2010, used by permission of the author

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