‘Rose Petal Jelly’ by Angela Readman

Rose Petal Jelly

The apples drip slow as September
dabbing sun to the rain, juice
slips over the glazed lip of a jug.

Outside, a resilience of roses hold
in the wind. We feel petals open, jagged
caruncles in the corners of our eyes.

One nod and I shin a fence, grab
a second flush in blushing fists.
Mother snips off the bitter white tips

and grins. Some women don’t deserve
roses, or know how to use them, she says.

The kitchen smells like a honeymoon.
Only love letters open as slowly
as she lifts the lid, nosing in at the roses

someone’s wife didn’t pick, all ours,
donating their rubies to our pan.
She holds a sunset, lets it fall

through her sieve. Briefly, the windows
fill with a rosetint. Our used jars
become churches we smash with a spoon.

Caruncle: the red prominence in the inner corner of the eye.
(from The Book of Tides, Nine Arches Press, 2016)
Angela Readman’s poetry has won The Mslexia Poetry Competition, The Essex Poetry Prize, and The Charles Causley Poetry Competition. Her work has been widely published in various journals including Ambit, The Rialto, Magma, Popshot, Bare Fiction, and Envoi. She also writes stories, her story book Don’t Try This at Home (2015) was shortlisted in The Edgehill Prize. Her latest poetry collection, The Book of Tides was published by Nine Arches in November 2016. Twitter @angelreadman