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Poem of the Week: ‘Objects in an Abandoned Handbag’

By Amanda Bell

I can tell exactly how they’ll feel –
the yielding crinkle of the papery skin,
then softness where the flesh has bruised
and liquefied. Or perhaps they will surprise me,
still be firm enough to sprout. Nerines, I guess,
pale, teardrop shapes, with a tuft of white-haired roots.
But why here, in a handbag dangling
on the Dodder footbridge rail?
Were they a parting gift or surreptitiously removed?
Perhaps the mud-streaked notebook might reveal
a lovingly sketched planting scheme
if I could bring myself to pluck it
from the black faux-leather pouch,
its secrets on display for all to see.
No purse, no coins, no cards, no keys –
I imagine these were hurriedly removed
before the bag was cast aside. I hope
the bearer wasn’t hurt or scared.
I hope that she’ll have other garden plans.

Today’s poem is from Winter Heliotrope, a collaboration between Amanda Bell and artist Donald Teskey (Fine Press Poetry)