The day sprawls wider than a yawn, a mouth
that sucks a ticking clock, a door that lets
the wind blow in, but no one comes to lift
their fist and knock. The rain outside is free
to run and fall and fling itself through puddles
on the ground. I watch it slide down drains
and kiss the pools below like fish with open
mouths. I push the windows wide to let
it in, and wish a meadow’s green would come
for tea. The kettle’s on, for goodness sake
come in and I’ll invite the sea, eat chocolate
cake with tiny spoons and sit on the
settee. We’ll be together outside-in,
the sky below the roof. We’ll lean on clouds
with dragonflies, smoke cigarettes and talk
about our youth. The wind will tell us where
he’s been, through all the empty streets. A sapling
sits beside a stream, a starfish on his lap,
with fog pulled tight over his knees, and sunshine
on his feet. And when we’re done, they’ll bend
their boughs, pick up their acorn buds, anemones
and leaves, and say goodbye and kiss me at
the door. The house will pull its sleeves of silence
up once more, and all that will be left
to show they’ve been are teacups in the sink
and raindrops on the floor.



Caitlin Venniker studied English at the University of Cape Town before changing direction completely and becoming a veterinarian. She lives between the United Arab Emirates and South Africa.

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9 Responses

  1. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Gaspingly glorious! A poem that had me hanging on every beautiful word until the perfect image of the closing line. Afternoon tea during lockdown never tasted so good. Thank you, Caitlin!

    • Caitlin

      Thank you so much, Susan. That is wonderful feedback, I really appreciate it.

  2. Yael

    Totally unique and sounds like a real mad-hatter tea party to me. I like the unusual nature-scene imagery and while I have no idea what the poem’s format is called, or if it has a name, I find it interesting and befitting the subject. It reminds me of Alice in Wonderland, one of my all-time favorite books; I like it, thank you.

  3. Norma Pain

    Many years ago I had a friend who could write magical free verse and I am not clever enough to know if this should be called free verse but I absolutely loved the magical journey that you took me on. Thank you Caitlin.

  4. Norma Pain

    After re-reading your poem several times because I love it, I can now see and hear all of the internal rhymes.

    • Caitlin

      Thank you so much, Norma! I am quite new to writing in meter, and I did allow myself a lot of freedom, but I tried to focus on rhythm and rhyme so I’m very pleased that you could pick up on that. Thank you!

  5. Julian D. Woodruff

    I don’t know whether I have it all right, Caitlin, but you do use meter, rhyme & half-rhyme most imaginatively. And images–if we could all have a relaxing but still stimulating cup or two with a meadow’s green, maybe an ounce of gratefulness, health, and sanity would return to our world.

    • Caitlin

      Absolutely. Nature is such a wonderful healer. Thank you for your kind words.


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