Kitchen Garden

I limoni, by Eugenio Montale

Quando un giorno da un malchiuso portone
Tra gli alberi di una corte
Ci si mostrano i gialli dei limoni;
e il gelo del cuore si sfa,
e in petto ci scrosciano
le loro canzoni
le trombe d’oro della solarita.

When I was at school, I dreamed of having a kitchen garden. I moved to France and thereafter to the UK. We had a back garden in our house-share, that we looked after. We didn’t really have a kitchen garden, but the back garden boasted of a shrub of rosemary and somebody had planted mint, which was growing rampantly in the flower beds to the left of the garden.

I now live back in Germany. I still don’t have a kitchen garden, but this year I grow tomatoes, 15 in number, on my window-sill on the balcony. I have planted some basil in a flower-box saying ‘Kräuter’ on it in the kitchen.

I miss the happy times in the house-share in London, the laughter at table, sustained by friendship and a hidden solidarity.

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