Ray from Bow has made his special salad,
the Cypriot Hassim has sliced his spuds,
nurtured them with salt. In the work shed
they've laid out the last of the harvest,
grapes and olives, leeks, cabbages, parsnips.
Along with the carrots and beets, from
the damp earth they've pulled up their thoughts,
dreams of better lives, the thrill of putting down
a deposit, inheritance; the days that a square
patch of London would breed dates, callaloo,
sweet potatoes the size of your head,
things not seen since childhood, homeland,
the family hearth, some long forgotten feast.
Michael McKimm is from the Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland. He graduated from the Warwick Writing Programme in 2004 and won an Eric Gregory Award in 2007. His poetry has appeared most recently in Magma, Oxford Poetry, PN Review and The Warwick Review, and is forthcoming in Dossier Journal (New York). His first collection, Still This Need, will be published in 2009.