The Tulips

enter like a corps de ballet
crimson and violet
vivid as wax crayons.

Heads held high in expectation
they sense their moment
is about to come.

Arranged in a bourrée en couru
they’re happy to conform
until time makes rebels of them.

Their rhythms change
they fling impatient bodies
their petals fade to a ballet blanc

and fall to leave stamens exposed
arms stripped of leotard skin
waving in a semaphore of exaltation.

Their dying is beautiful
though it robs my room of colour
and leaves it smelling of sweat.


Rebecca Farmer was born in Birmingham but her parents came from Ireland and she grew up with the idea that Dublin meant ‘home’. Her debut pamphlet Not Really was a winner of The Poetry Business Pamphlet Prize in 2014. Rebecca was a 2016 Writer in Residence at Gladstone’s Library and she is currently completing a PhD at Goldsmiths on the late works of Louis MacNeice.

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