Fleur Adcock


If you liked them, how your heart might have lifted
to see their neat trapezium shapes studding
the wall like a newly landed flight of jet
ornaments, the intensity of their black
gloss, with secret blues and greens half-glinting through,
and the glass wings, not so unlike those of bees—

if you could bring yourself; if they occupied
a niche in creation nudged fractionally
      because it’s not their present forms, it’s
their larval incarnations that you can’t stop
heaving into view, white nests moistly seething
in a dead pigeon or a newspaper-wrapped
package leaking beside a path (but enough—
the others will kindly absent themselves, please!)

And wondering what, where—under the floorboards
or behind the freezer—suddenly hatched these.

Author’s Note


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