This poem is taken from Stand 216, 15(4) December 2017 - February 2018.

Anne Stevenson Poem
Sandi Russell Sings

To the American jazz singer, on her 70th birthday

The darkness, the wetness, the wrongness
             of this English winter
is welcome as daybreak’s midnight.
             Yesterday’s downpour
      is predicting tomorrow’s rain.

O friend and forever American,
             what are we doing here, cramped on this island?  
How did we fumblingly find our way
             to this teapot of terrible weather?

Exiles or escapists, we have packed the sun
             into our childhoods –
sash windows carelessly opened  
             to a soft breeze
scented with hopscotch and roses,
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