Some Very Curious Plants

My Grandpa grew giant squash,
feeding them multi-grade engine oil.

They loomed in the dusk, tendrils
coiled like insulated cables.

People came from far away, from
overseas, to gawp at the prodigies,

a small cult sprang up around
Grandpa’s magic, an eco-craze.

As a kid, I would spy on him
anointing long frozen beds

with gloopy muck, his fingers
dextrous calloused sticks.

It gave me dreams of liquorice
like wire looped around my teeth;

on waking, just for a moment,
it was impossible to speak.

from From The Wonder Book of Would You Believe It? (Mariscat, 2016), © Jane McKie 2016, used by permission of the author

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