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Uxor Vivamus


The first night that I slept with you

And slept, I dreamt (these lines are true):

Now newly married we had moved

Into an unkempt house we loved –

The rooms were large, the floors of stone,

The garden gently overgrown

With sunflowers, phlox, and mignonette –

All as we would have wished and yet

There was a shabby something there

Tainting the mild and windless air.

Where did it lurk?  Alarmed we saw

The walls about us held the flaw –

They were of plaster, like grey chalk,

Porous and dead:  it seemed our talk,

Our glances, even love, would die

With such indifference standing by.

Then, scarcely thinking what I did,

I chipped the plaster and it slid

In easy pieces to the floor;

It crumbed cleanly, more and more

Fell unresistingly away –

And there, beneath that deadening grey,

A fresco stood revealed:  sky-blue

Predominated, for the view

Was of an ebullient country scene,

The crowning of some pageant queen

Whose dress shone blue, and over all

The summer sky filled half the wall.

And so it was in every room,

The plaster’s undistinguished gloom

Gave way to dances, festivals,

Processions, muted pastorals –

And everywhere that spacious blue:

I woke, and lying next to you

Knew all that I had dreamt was true.


Dick Davis



From The Covenant, Anvil Press, © 1984.
Reprinted by permission of the author.

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