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.


3 Responses to Late Valentine

  1. Jillian Oyama says:

    I think this is a beautiful poem that reminisces on what was, and the direct address to the author’s lost love is very poignant in creating a very strong view of his wife and how much he loved her. The focus on very simple things they shared makes this poem more powerful, because it shows that it isn’t the big things that are remembered, it’s all the routine events, such as being called to watch the news, or running out to get a wine-stained shirt.

  2. Sam O'Dell says:

    This poem conveys the emotion of someone who has lost a spouse. Because of the title, “Late Valentine,” it can be inferred that the spouse has died. This loss has affected the speaker in profound ways, to the point where even the lack of those things that previously annoyed him about his significant other have transformed into awful reminders of what he or she has lost. My favorite part of this poem is the last five lines, especially the line “this makes me always late and always lost” because I believe it truly conveys the immense loss the speaker of the poem feels.

  3. Barbz says:

    This poem brought tears to my eyes, it reminded me of past things….it’s not cool to cry when your at work, but I couldn’t stop the tears, now my eyes are red and puffy, everyone will ask if I’m ok, and will lie and say ‘yes I am fine thanks’…..kisses and hugs for Tim xxxxx

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