James Fenton


YELLOW TULIPS

Looking into the vase, into the calyx, into the water drop,
Looking into the throat of the flower, at the pollen stain,
I can see the ambush love sprung once in the summery wood.
I can see the casualties where they lay, till they set forth again.

I can see the lips, parted first in surprise, parted in desire,
Smile now as a silence falls on the yellow-dappled ride
For each thinks the other can hear each receding thought
On each receding tide.

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