Love’s time’s beggar, but even a single hour,
bright as a dropped coin, makes love rich.
We find an hour together, spend it not on flowers
or wine, but the whole of the summer sky and a grass ditch.
For thousands of seconds we kiss; your hair
like treasure on the ground; the Midas light
turning your limbs to gold. Time slows, for here
we are millionaires, backhanding the night
so nothing dark will end our shining hour,
no jewel hold a candle to the cuckoo spit
hung from the blade of grass at your ear,
no chandelier or spotlight see you better lit
than here. Now. Time hates love, wants love poor,
but love spins gold, gold, gold from straw.
‘Hour’ is excerpted from Rapture.
Chosen for FSG Poetry Month by Jill McLaughlin.
Carol Ann Duffy was appointed British poet laureate in 2009. She is the author or editor of several volumes of poetry, including two for children. She has received, among other honors, the Forward Prize, the Whitbread Poetry Award, the Lannan Award, and the E. M. Forster Prize for her work. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Duffy lives in Manchester, England, and is currently Professor of Contemporary Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University.