In Chepstow stands a castle;
My love and I went there;
The foxgloves on the wall all heard
Her footsteps on the stair.

The sun was high in heaven,
And the perfume on the air
Came from purple cat’s valerian…
But her footsteps on the stair
Made a sound like silver music
Thro’ the perfume in the air.

Oh I’m weary for the castle,
And I’m weary for the Wye,
And the flowered walls are purple
And the purple walls are high.
And above the cat’s valerian
The foxgloves brush the sky.
But I must plod along the road
That leads to Germany.

And another soldier fellow
Shall come courting of my dear
And it’s I shall not be with her
With my lips beside her ear.
For it’s he shall walk beside her
In the perfume of the air
To the silver silver music
Of her footstep on the stair.

This poem is in the public domain.

I will think of water-lilies
Growing in a darkened pool,
And my breath shall move like water,
And my hands be limp and cool.

It shall be as though I waited
In a wooden place alone;
I will learn the peace of lilies
And will take it for my own.

If a twinge of thought, if yearning
Come like wind into this place,
I will bear it like the shadow
Of a leaf across my face.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on May 25, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

A reprieve: the subsiding of a storm. The withered leaves in the cracks
of the city’s cobblestones, the owl slams its head again and again
against the glass doors of the new coffee shop.

A chipped gimcrack inside my palm, a needle searching for a thimble:
because I know the names of every street in this city,
                                     I resist nomenclatures.

A truce, a never-ending interim: the subsiding of a storm.
A locust drags a bullock cart across the tramline.
I see you standing
                                     in the far end of the alley,

almost invisible: crouching behind the abandoned alabaster cherubs.
You are carving a constellation out of the bones, stolen from an incomplete

museum. An incomplete museum, an abandoned excavation site,
a notebook with nothing but inkstains:
                                     yet, when translated, this is an illuminating picture.

Where in this symmetry of blue-ink grief to look
for pronouns that would house my loud dissipations?

Copyright © 2019 Nandini Dhar. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Winter 2019.