Midsummer Yield

Gardening day.
Baring your skin in the yard.
The heat is intense in the seasonal wave
But that’s not why my cheeks flush like the roses.

Every movement, every muscle,
Sweat glinting.

My clothes are sticking,
I’m watching from the window
I’m folding your Marigold’s florid blouses.

Stigma burns and I look away.
Shamefully. You are a mistake, maid.

Footsteps tell me you’re coming.
You’re nervous in my presence
Eyeing the inch of flesh exposed beneath my jersey.

Half naked but there’s a clean shirt hanging,
I ironed it like you pay me to.
But your hand is on my waist,
You don’t pay me for that.

Even in this stifling heat you want to feel me against you,
Shedding clothes like old skins.
Lovers’ cores caressing.

Hesitating. A ritual dance
Because it’s not the first time we resist.
But every time

We surrender.



© Velma Velvet and affairsofthemindpoetry, 2018


  1. I like this too. I especially like the concreteness in your poems. Don’t forget the sense of smell. When I was first starting out, I kept a list of the five (or seven depending) senses. I’d always review what I’d written to be sure I had evoked as many of our senses as possible (or as made sense to). Now, the only thing that confused me in this poem was the speaker! I really wasn’t sure if the speaker was male or female, or if his or her love interest was male or female?


    • Well spotted. I do struggle to describe smells in a sensuous way sometimes. I’ll get there.

      All my poems are supposed to have some level of ambiguity so that they’re open for interpretation. But here is my thought process, just for you…

      I saw it as a male and female; the female speaker is a maid for the love interest and his wife, who is called Marigold. The clues are in these lines:

      I’m watching from the window
      Folding your Marigold’s florid blouses.
      Stigma burns and I look away.
      Shamefully. You are a mistake, maid.

      ‘You are a mistake, maid’ is what the speaker is telling herself in regards to the affair. Or, it could equally be her remembering a comment the love interest previously made to her. Or perhaps a comment that the wife made when she once found out. It’s also a double entendre, that she is a ‘mistake made’.

      Another clue you might have missed in regards to the gender of the speaker is ‘Stigma burns’ – it’s a part of the female reproductive part of a plant, as well as it referring to a shameful act.

      Hope this helps.


      • That’s so interesting. I didn’t know what to make of “Marigold”. Given the context, I thought the marigold might be the actual flower and that the “florid blouses” were the flower’s petals, a very nice metaphor (almost Shakesperean or Keatsian really). Why someone would fold a marigold’s petals — I don’t know, but maybe he/she had some plans for them? Funny thing is: stigma, while it’s the female part, is also the most phallic, being the part in the middle that stands the tallenst, and so… look forward to reading more. 🙂


      • I like using thematic imagery as well as metaphor. So the idea that he was a gardener with a wife called Marigold who wears florid blouses seemed fitting and amusing. It’s nice to see how other creative people interpret your work. I’m pleased you took the time to try and interpret it.

        To be specific – the stigma was representing the clitoris. Obviously the most sensitive part of a woman. And it is essentially the closest we get to a penis!

        Thank you for your concise and interesting comments, anyway. I appreciate it very much.


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