Foxgloves outside the fence

foxgloves flowers in the wild
‘…digitalis, a plant that is beautiful on the outside but toxic at its heart with all parts 
of the plant poisonous. It derives from several cardiac glycosides produced by the plant, 
and widely used as a heart medication.’

Creeping under bottom wires,
stealthy, sneaky, not supposed to be
there, spreading purple fires
with fervent seeding, aching free

from boundaries, ditchhuggers, dirty
violet listeners, cosycrawling up
all trespassgreen to share sharphurting,
tiny specks of dappled plum in chalice cups,

bright fingers wagging time for hearts,
for minds, for guts entwisted, sticky
stigma styling yellowyellowyellow parts
for touching, bitterblurry witchytricky,

pull me, lick me, tear me, chew me, 
roll me, swallow me, spew me, rue me.  

Di Slaney

Di Slaney lives in Nottinghamshire UK where she runs livestock sanctuary Manor Farm Charitable Trust and independent publisher Candlestick Press. She was the winner of The Plough Poetry Prize 2022. Her poems have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, widely published and anthologised, and highly commended in the Forward Prize and Bridport Prize. Her poetry collections Reward for Winter and Herd Queen are available from Valley Press.