Some days you gatecrash,
sweeping in like the headline act,
in a glitter ball of dust,
turning your spotlight on my grimy windows,
flooding my floors with your aura.
Even on the grimmest of days,
you try to engage me,
sliding under my kitchen door
like an illicit proposal,
insinuating yourself into my darkest niches.
Today, you shimmied in on twinkling toes,
hip-hopped the popping suds to dance the tap,
strobe the dimpled bottoms of washed up pans.
You are one that embraces curves,
slips with an easy grace
around the shoulders of chrome,
flatters the obduracy of stainless steel.
I’ve seen you leap on a knife edge keen as a laser,
slide down the blade of a cleaver.
I’ve watched you play in ladles,
loom in the scoops of spoons.
Today, you beamed at the moon
of my face in the kettle,
gave me back to myself in parody.
You dazzled me with wit,
lit me up – then balanced a diamond
on the rim of my cup.
She left me on the floor to moulder,
like an odd sock rolled in on itself.
A finger of sun pokes through the shutter,
stirs up a corkscrew of glitter,
pulls me out to a sparkling day.
Strung out on the line crows hunch,
mute as tar babies,
unshakable in the ruffling air.
Maybe I caught a glimpse of her,
there – in the rainbow
of their oil-slick plumes.
One by one they lift,
wing to a sky buffed clean
by a rag of cloud,
their cries snatched
by a whippersnapper breeze.
While I languished,
the upstart swept the dead skin of winter
under a gaze of ox-eye daisies.
Fresh blood springs from the humus;
poppies, scarlet flax, red campion,
an insouciant host of dandelions.
I vagabond forgotten lanes,
like an errant mutt, nose to the ground,
following her breadcrumb trail.
A hare breaks pell-mell from its hollow,
flushes a partridge from the ditch,
a whirring snitch, startling
the whiffle of horses cropping clover,
skimming the backs of knuckled down cows,
flurrying the white flags of egrets.
My heart surrenders to the day,
stops beating itself to submission.
I found her there, in a patch of briar
bristling with sparrows,
a passerine choir whistling
a score of promissory notes.
Madame Dubois’ Confiture
A wedge of sun squeezes past the shutters,
drenching the room in an orange glow.
Monsieur Dubois resists the press of his dreams,
throws back the covers, rises
with the levity of proven dough.
He picks for his wife, a petit déjeuner,
plump figs ripened by a fine promise.
Madame Dubois doesn’t care for muesli,
coddled eggs, kippers or kedgeree,
she likes to pluck from her husband’s tree.
She craves the flesh of his Mirabelles,
devours his juicy Bergerons,
until she’s overcome with the yield.
Touched by his tenderness, she preserves
his sweetness to spread over winter’s long denials.
When the orchard sleeps under a duvet of snow,
and the brassica beds have lost their allure,
she’ll screw the top from a pot of summer,
fall back on the comfort of bread and butter,
nourish their love with her confiture.
Stella Wulf lives in South West France. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and her work has been widely published, both in print and online magazines and journals. She has poems in several anthologies including, The Very Best of 52 (Nine Arches Press, 2015), three drops from a cauldron, and the Clear Poetry Anthology. She is also an artist and her work can be seen on her website: stellawulf.com