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Image by Victor Malyushev


the madrigal, volume iv

So much of love is spent waiting

by claire-lise kieffer

Waiting for you this evening, knitting, I too
am a Penelope weaving for her Ulysses,

stitch after ruby stitch bringing me closer to you,
my love. And though this room is no Ithaca,

the storm outside blackens the thuya
into a passable Ionian Sea,

an island of emerald green caught in the beam
of a streetlamp-turned-lighthouse.

Oh that you may arrive before the night is over
so I can finish my work without undoing,

and I dream of wearing my red pullover,
knowing, while dreaming, I won't have the words

to spell the weave of evenings, waitings,
dropped stitches of a love already ending.

Claire-Lise Kieffer is a poet and short story writer from France, writing in English and living on the West Coast of Ireland. Her poetry has been published in the Dedalus Local Wonders anthology, and in magazines Skylight 47, Poethead, 14 Magazine, the Poet’s Directory magazine, the Haibun Journal, Abridged and Beir Bua. Her poem “Peony Picker” was shortlisted for the Fish Poetry Prize. Her short stories have appeared in print journals Banshee and Crossways, and in online journals Bending Genres, Seaborne and more. Her short story “A life well lived” was anthologised in the Amsterdam Quarterly yearbook. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from NUIG and is a member of the Static Caravan writing group. Her first collection of short stories is seeking publication. Follow her on Twitter: @clairelise_poet

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