I brought home wild marjoram,
scabious and a pink parsley
to catch your eye in the little kitchen,
leaving my hurt pride by the roadside.
After all our talk I’d wanted to bring
butterflies to stir the air in the bedroom:
flitting blues, graylings, gatekeepers
with watchful eyes, and a jersey tiger
moth, its scarlet flash so startling.
But my hands were too slow in the heat
of the afternoon and, besides, in time
one of us would break the silence,
though the butterflies – soundless
and unexpected – go on
slipping through our fingers forever.
Published in Desire Lines Arrowhead Press 2010
Stephen Boyce lives in Winchester. His poetry has been published widely in magazines including Staple, The Interpreter’s House, Frogmore Papers, Smiths Knoll, Tears in the Fence, Links, the Southern Daily Echo, Moving Stories (website), Acumen, and in the anthology Visible Breath (Indigo Dreams). He has been a prizewinner in the Kent & Sussex, Leicester, Ledbury, Ware Poets and Plough Prize competitions. Stephen has published pamphlets including In the Northland -– poems after the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson, and his full length collection Desire Lines was published by Arrowhead Press in 2010. For further information visit: stephenboycepoetry.co.uk