Poem, Poetry

Carolyn Oulton

Where I Was When You Saw Me There

An unfastened window,
blossom clambering
through tree tops
hand over hand.
A twist of notes.
Blackbird, strokes polished
as a skater’s, skidding
grease-winged overhead.

I still don’t know how
I got there; not like that.
Not by those daisies,
not astride the fat
white marble of a hen
pulling herself towards
the shade’s mosaic
on ropes of air.

Not riding a sky steeped blue
at its apex, turning shabby
on a washing line,
the odd soapy cloth shape
running over gesturing
hedgerows – news
just coming in that they’ve
cancelled my thunder storm.

Even with a chimney pot,
enough stray twigs
to be going on with, a well
and yes a few stone steps –
I don’t know how I got there.
Still, it’s where I was that day.
Back wriggling into the earth
and a face full of clouds.

Carolyn Oulton is Professor of Victorian Literature and Director of the International Centre for Victorian Women Writers at Canterbury Christ Church University. She is the project lead for https://kent-maps.online/ in collaboration with JSTOR Labs. Her most recent collection is Accidental Fruit (Worple). 

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