A Rooftop in Spain Stretched on the cluttered terraza, relishing the shade, with jasmine in my nostrils,2 while dodging spiny bushes in cracked urns and pondering my English exasperations at slapped-on paint, cankered concrete, beautiful but ever-detaching céramica, where wood and plaster rot in rain and searing sun. Yet the anarchy of rooftops attracts my gaze; the unplanned reckless riot below, with the neighbours and their washing lines so very close. A woman rages at her daughter for some dangerous mistake – slamming that big, iron door, probably and, obstinate, the toddler retaliates with screams. And after a lull, the mother sings: a complicated song with percusión de mano, her voice uncoloured with regret – each moment's nugget of joy in passionate throat – and a second voice; as they exult in song defiant, the child caught and taught to know and willing pay – Acepto! – – Duende! – the cost and end of everything.
Clive Donovan devotes himself full-time to poetry and has published in a wide variety of magazines including Acumen, Agenda, Amethyst Review, Prole, Sentinel and Stand. He lives in Totnes, Devon, UK. He is a Pushcart and Forward Prize nominee for this year’s best individual poems and his first collection, The Taste of Glass, is recently published by Cinnamon Press.