James Lasdun


The Blight

What’ s there to say? We didn’ t care for him much,
and you can’ t exactly commiserate
with someone you don’ t just not love
but almost (admit it) hate.
So the news just hung over us
like the dud summer weather we’ d had —
rain since June, the lawn sodden,
garden a bog, all slugs, late blight so bad
our sickened Beefsteak vines, our Sweet One Hundreds,
San Marzanos, the lot,
yellowed half black before the fruit had set,
which, when it did, began to bloat and rot
before it ripened — but like I say