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A Protestant Man by Kathryn Ratzko

Arts Richmond

Online - 24 September 2020

A Protestant Man by Kathryn Ratzko

The digger spun the clods.

It turned the rich red clay

into a bed where roses bloomed:

Peace, Perception, Remember Me.

And for a time the land became

a sight of multi-coloured stripes

rich with the heady blend of scent.

It was a transient pleasure.


When the flowers died away

you dug the roses from the ground

and parcelled them for sale.


Each evening after work,

weekends and holidays,

regardless of tiredness or weather, the roses called,

consumed your time

and we were left with morsels.


You did it for the best;

a father wanting more for those he loved.

But coming down the stairs,

my wedding day,

the breakfast set, my rollers in,

seeing the weight of earth on your wellingtons, I



“There’s plenty of time,” you said.


from ABOUT TIME, the 2019 anthology of shortlisted entries from The Roger McGough Poetry Prize. Copies of this Anthology can be purchased for £5 including P&P from Arts Richmond.

A Protestant Man by Kathryn Ratzko

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The Roger McGough Annual Poetry Prize 2020

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