Poetry / Stuart Barnes

Glasshouses

for my father; and his

Sucking dentures, whistling ‘A Boy Named Sue’,
my father constructed cold frames, terminuses
—one metre x one metre x one metre, four
facets, and a crown, hinged and flat, threaded
with sparkling wire—of the dark Goliath dwarfing
his father’s orchard since seventy-seven. Come winter
they’d clack like men across a draughtsboard over
            the phosphorous earth, dilating, for their seedlings,
            the sun.          Every morning I clack my own
kind of cold frame, a mnemonic black letter
mustering catatonia, a blue translucence
(its anaesthetics too stark for naked eyes). Green
worms
, my father’d whoop, fingers wiggling, tickling
underarms. Mine, like flourishing bruises, purple and burn.

© Stuart Barnes

Appeared in: The Weekend Australian, 2012 and Assaracus: A Journal of Gay Poetry (USA), 2013

Photo by ©Stuart Barnes

An Abandoned Orchard, photo by © Stuart Barnes

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