Blue bearded iris so tall it bloomed
in the lower apple branches. Ice
tinkling in tea was like the sound
of ankles’ muted clicking when
she took her waking exercise
on the bed. Later by the lake
where ordinary people not in love
walked up and down, he heard the ice
crackling in a glass of white. That creak
was like the snap her bra straps made
on shoulders when she slipped them on.
The Chablis waited while she gave
the boy his lesson in the leafy shade,
pergola where honeysuckle trailed.
Stephen Sandy has published numerous books of poetry, including The Thread: New and Selected Poems (1998), Black Box (1999), Surface Impressions: A Poem in Eight Parts (2002), and Weathers Permitting (2005). A new collection, Overlook, will be published by Louisiana State University Press in 2010. He has been a Lannan Senior Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and held a Rockefeller Foundation residency at its Bellagio Center. (updated 9/2009)