It was late September. I’d just poured a glass of wine, begun
to unwind, while the vegetables cooked. The kitchen
filled with the smell of itself, its steamy breath, gently blanching the windows. So I opened one,
then with my fingers wiped the other’s glass like a brow.
He was standing under the pear tree snapping a twig.
Now the garden was long and the visibility poor, the way
the dark of the ground seems to drink the light of the sky,
but that twig in his hand was gold. And then he plucked a pear from a branch, we grew Fondante d’Automne,
and it sat in his palm like a lightbulb. On.
I thought to myself, Is he putting fairy-lights in the tree?
He came into the house. The doorknobs gleamed.
He drew the blinds. You know the Mind; I thought of
the Field of the Cloth of Gold and of Miss Macready.
He sat in the chair like a king on a burnished throne……….
From Mrs Midas By Carol Ann Duffy, British Poet Laureate of Britain for the last ten years. (until 2019)
To read the rest of her take on Midas go to After Ovid New Metamorphoses edited by
Michael Hofman and James Lasdun, with a number of wonderful poets giving their versions of Ovid.
Includes work by Kenneth Koch, Craig Raine, Derek Mahon, Seamus Heaney, Les Murray, Fleur Adcock and loads more.