Emily Cullen


You raced round the city
to buy flowers for our guest.
We three sat drinking tea,
willing bulbs to sprout,
but last night she had to leave
before their world unfolded.

The amaryllis amplify
how it feels: loved by you
from the inside out.

I enter the kitchen to behold
their inflorescence.
Morning light floods in
upon the table where
two proud stalks
are gallant sentinels.
Bewitched, I touch their
carmine red trefoils,
blooms of burnished wax.

Soon they will be pendulous,
shedding one by one.
But I will remember
how they hold their elative heads
on this stark December morning;
their sturdy elegance
irradiating everything.


Dr. Emily Cullen is a writer, arts manager, harpist and scholar currently based in Melbourne. In 2004 she curated the national Patrick Kavanagh Centenary celebrations and was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions series. Emily’s second poetry collection, In Between Angels and Animals, has just been published by Arlen House.