‘Oh yes. I admit it. You are right.’
‘You don’t have a leg to stand on, amigo mío.’
‘Yes, I know. I know. You’re right.
This bougainvillea is afire with purple,
The colour of the Mediterranean,
As the old gardener said.
The bushes flame with colour,
Bright and strong.
And it is good.
I quite agree
That it is marvellous to see.
The hibiscus blows its trumpets,
Huge and red,
Till they fall as night falls.
As I look up, I see
The sky is cloudless,
Blue, all blue, all day,
And every day that comes.
But what I would give
For a shy violet,
For one, just one,
Hiding from the intrusive sun.
Or for the quiet beauty
Of the primrose in the hedgerow,
As if bouquets were planted there,
Ready for a bride to gather
To throw over her shoulder
To the waiting maids.
Or the brave cowslip,
Small and fragile in the wind,
That blows on the meadows in Somerset,
In April when the fresh showers come
To the distant call of the cuckoo.’
‘Well, if you bring an English spring
Into the question,
That is hitting below the belt, my friend.’
‘If I bring in an English spring,
There is no contest.
You must admit that in the end!’