Cyphers Magazine


Publishing poetry, prose and art since 1975

Red Camellias

By Seán Lysaght

I saw you this morning
when a shaft of light
shone on the red camellias
just after sunrise.
I recognised the lipstick
and a kind of shy emergence
from the hedge-depths
where they sheltered.
The poplars were already applauding
the main parts of the day to come,
wind and sun,
and a tide of shadow was rising
from the roof to slight you.
I could have gone out
there and then to flail the hedge
and expose you, a trophy,
but your beauty was holding
the train for a summer queen,
a complex, difficult diva,
and I gave you all the show I could
before another would wreck your dress
and leave you for the year,
your small fingers of leaves
gesturing in the air
above the last scraps of glamour.
There was nothing more I could do
but be a man standing at a window
very early, to watch you.

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