Sarah Mnatzaganian is an Anglo-Armenian poet. Shortlisted for the Poetry Business pamphlet competition 2016/17, her poems have been published in Magma, The North, Fenland Reed, London Grip, Atrium, As Above So Below, Poems in the Waiting Room, and anthologies Write to be Counted and #MeToo. She studies with Peter and Ann Sansom and Moniza Alvi.
I had pulled up nearly all the dandelions
and plantains, before I noticed wild bees
circling the courtyard and sinking quietly
into a humble crack in the paving.
They didn’t try to hurt me, even when
I blindly dragged a table over their nest
but they look miserable now, flying low,
questioning the bare slabs.
The bees have chosen to live here
like the blue tits who post themselves
into their nest box like unexpected gifts
before I have time to smile.
If I left the garden gate open and failed
to lock my cabin door, I might find
a stranger sitting at my writing desk
or sleeping in my day bed.
Their droppings might appear beside
the hedgehog turds I’m proud to see
under the yew tree. They might hang
their ragged washing on my line.
Will they sit at the garden table and stare
like the doves I fed last winter who still
call hoarsely through the kitchen window
hoping I will give them bread?
If I don’t leave food out each morning
they might bake the hedgehog
or barbecue the blue tits over a fire
while bees hum in the lavender.