States of Poetry 2016 - TAS | 'Flower' by Adrienne Eberhard




She sees the flowers are red flags
like pennants hauled up, heralding danger,
hailing the world and its lovers
with admonitions:
watch out, watch out.

On long stalks they wobble
and wave, handkerchiefs flaring
long after the ship has left port,
their scarlet hue a constancy,
an accusation,
each flower, proud,

a finger pointing,
away, away
and beckoning,
come back, come back.

At their base, sun pours
through leaves, shafts of light
like stained glass,
veins etched lead solder.

One stem rises in a separate salute,
its arc empty of flowers,
green hasps like tiny medieval chalices.
They cast shadows on the table,
love hearts, all of them.

Adrienne Eberhard

Adrienne Eberhard

Adrienne Eberhard

Adrienne Eberhard’s latest collection, The Shape of the Wind, is forthcoming from Black Pepper. Agamemnon’s Poppies (2003) was awarded second place in the Anne Elder Prize, Jane, Lady Franklin (2004) was featured on PoeticA, and This Woman (2011) was shortlisted for the 2013 Tasmania Book Prize. She lives on the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, south of Hobart, and is working on a new collection that is a series of poems/letters between Marie Antoinette and Marie Louise (Louis) Girardin, who sailed in Tasmanian waters in 1792–93.