Late Valentine

Tim Upperton Click to

UppertonTim Upperton is writing his PhD thesis on the poetry of Frederick Seidel. He won first prizes in the Bronwyn Tate Memorial International Poetry Competition 2011 and the Caselberg Trust International Poetry Competition 2012. His poems have been selected for Best New Zealand Poems 2008, 2009, and 2011, and his first collection, A House On Fire (Steele Roberts), appeared in 2009. He has published widely in literary journals, mainstream magazines in New Zealand and the U.S., and recently in the anthologies Best of the Best New Zealand Poems (VUP) and Villanelles (Everyman).

I don’t sleep with you anymore,
and this makes the rain come
in the open window
and wet the tired curtains.
The bed keeps growing and growing.
I don’t hear you calling me
for the six o’clock news,
and this makes the thrush stop singing
its three-note song.
I don’t rush to take in
your forgotten tee-shirt from the line,
the one with the red wine stain
that a hundred washes couldn’t remove,
and this makes the sun shine
until midnight.
I don’t cook you breakfast
on Saturday morning,
and this makes me perpetually hungry.
I don’t run out of patience,
or shampoo,
and this makes me wait for you
with clean hair.
I don’t argue with you about the right way
to get to our daughter’s flat in the city,
and though my way was fastest and best,
this makes me always late and always lost
no matter where I’m going.


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