Carol Ann Duffy


There were flowers at the edge of the forest, cupping
The last of the light in their upturned petals. I followed you in,
Under the sighing, restless trees and my whole life vanished.

The moon tossed down its shimmering cloth. We undressed,
then dressed again in the gowns of the moon. We knelt in the leaves,
kissed, kissed; new words rustled nearby and we swooned.

Didn’t we? And didn’t I see you rise again and go deeper
into the woods and follow you still, till even my childhood shrank
to a glow-worm of light where those flowers darkened and closed.

Thorns on my breasts, rain in my mouth, loam on my bare feet, rough
Bark grazing my back, I moaned for them all. You stood, waist deep,
In a stream, pulling me in, so I swam. You were the water, the wind
In the branches wringing their hands, the heavy, wet perfume of soil.

I am there now, lost in the forest, dwarfed by the giant trees. Find me.