There is honey and chocolate on our doorstep
since Christmas—sweet box and coral flower—
one on either side. The heuchera with ruffled
cocoa-coloured leaves hunkers in the corner but
the sarcococca or sweet box is where we step
inside by design so that on nights as dark as winter
and full of storm we brush the bluff, squat, shrub
and boots and coat trail the scent of summer
into the hall. Its flowers are what are left of flowers,
petals blown away—spindly threads ghostly in the leaves,
the odd early blood-berry that follows.
Its genus confusa is right—from so frail a bloom
a scent so big, as if the bees have nested in it
and are eager for their flight.
© Maureen Boyle