the passing pleasure of poppies

when November finds us
remembering red
processions of poppies
flooding over, up,
between the intrusions
of day’s early dying
the fragile thrall of frosted night
remembering lights
now scattered, dimly lying,
we were adrift once
with petaled profusions
on brighter winds than these

when November finds us
across this brittle distance
deep fields of sea between
the you you were
the I I was
before the burning pull
of your August lips
remember the blazing
pillared paths of hands
the pleasing pulse of poppies
the ruby red hum
of blood in throes of summer
and infinite we

© Sarah Whiteley

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home

in the hollow house
the drapes hang empty
and vases hold dust
where lilacs once were propped
by careful fingers
that chair
has always sat vacant
though the only two who knew
have gone somewhere on
the winds
have scattered weeds
into the garden
where she left rue
and forget-me-nots
at the time
without thinking of regret
or of forgetting
the clouds
have cast his shadow
from the corners
and the rains
have run her fleeting footprints
down the drive
past the evening songs
of the frogs in spring
she’d pass them
listening to the patterns
and plays of drops
on her umbrella
her mind a mass
of green and grey
the encroaching signs
of wandering
and winding wants that wakened
with the awakening earth
they grew so bright and rampant
alongside the buttercups
until her breath was tight
and pained her
and she could no longer
share her air
but there beneath the pine
above the brambles
and the sweet stars
that have long wound themselves
into the grasses
so long as he lies dreaming
she recalls the hollow house
with the crickets calling
beneath the porch
as home

© Sarah Whiteley

what’s done

you speak
of the ardor of us
as if it still breathed
pulsed between us
lighthouse guide
of our nights
our flighty days
but it’s yesterday’s sighs
then that quivers
to the thready
beats of time passing
when my fingers
lent yours
delightful animation
you speak
of the soul of us
as if we were still
inseparable
as if time and distance
had not piled
against us
diluting us from then,
from when,
from now

© Sarah Whiteley