Here they are, an army of privets
in parade along Slingsby Walk.
They belong to Southerners
who arrive, seduced by flower shows,
tea rooms, Victorian splendour
to grow their children on Harrogate water.
The word privet is thought to originate from prime
– noble, distinguished, first –
although there is no evidence of this.
Gathering together to form such dense thickets,
they displace natives,
elbow them onto grass verges.
Strangled into the light, the smaller plants
are soon frosted with the remains
of white dog shit, forgotten.