The morning after


Artwork: Joan Mitchell, Trees III, 1992

The sixth in a set of poems entitled Lover’s Quarantine

The penultimate instalment in ‘Lovers’ Quarantine’ further extends the metaphor of the natural disaster for the denaturalised world of a quarantine.

by Fred Baxter


The morning after

the world came up

from underground


I heard the sprightly

duplets of your footsteps,

and your baritone hum,


and saw one dappled

shining daffodil looped

through your buttonhole,


torn from the earth

with a needle and thread

and primed across your breast.


Where did you find it?

I thought, looking out

through the window


at the threadbare roads

with their carpet

of grainy refuse, dead seed,


when I remembered

the lover’s tapping, and

night’s hushed voice falling


through the lines

of its pebbly ostinato,

and the lithe outline


of a muffled grin

stealing away

from my windowsill


with a daffodil

to his chest.

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