My grandmother could not allow
the tiniest amount of May
inside our house. She knew it was
as dangerous as Judgement Day.
And peacock feathers brought bad luck,
and wearing clothes of any green;
all nature-superstitions of
a people distant as a dream.
I watch the high May hedges now
frothing with pinkish-cream. I cling
to thoughts of her bent, gentle hands
and find her in the May each spring.
A pagan in me keeps the faith
and my house now is May flower-clear.
The Christian in me marvels at
her resurrection every year.
Superstition runs as deep as religion … If someone told me to buy a green car, I still couldn’t do it, however good the deal. And yet, there are so many I have overcome: not putting new shoes on tables, not getting into a bed if the end faced a door, not eating green sweets, not stirring batter anti-clockwise, not walking anti-clockwise round churches … ladders … open umbrellas in the house and on … and on …
©Image and words: Lucy Berry