Wild Moment: Yvonne Reddick
"Dainty Alpinist, chinking her roots into fissures and fractures, like crampons in toeholds." Yvonne Reddick's poem celebrates the hardy plants that cling to the UK's highest mountain.
The Flower that Breaks Rocks
He introduced his daughters to Ben Nevis.
‘You take the bearing. Line up the arrow,’
pointing to Moonlight Gully Buttress,
Minus One Gully. We didn’t care
until Dad found us a saxifrage. Its blooms
were spokes of the North Star.
‘Saxifraga means rock-breaker.’
Dainty Alpinist, chinking her roots into fissures
and fractures, like crampons in toeholds.
But I see now what he could only glimpse.
That she and the other Alpines – roseroots
and pearlworts – are scrambling skywards
until all that remains for them is cloud.
© Yvonne Reddick
- This poem first appeared in issue 24 of The Manchester Review.
- Yvonne was a recipient of a Des Rubens Bill Wallace Grant in 2020.
- Inspired to submit your own Wild Moment? Find out how here.