English Sonnet

By Chelsea Rathburn Chelsea Rathburn
London returns in damp, fragmented flurries   
when I should be doing something else. A scrap   
of song, a pink scarf, and I’m back to curries   
and pub food, long, wet walks without a map,   
bouts of bronchitis, a case of the flu,   
my halfhearted studies, and brooding thoughts   
and scanning faces in every bar for you.   
Those months come down to moments or small plots,   
like the bum on the Tube, enraged that no one spoke,   
who raved and spat, the whole car thick with dread,   
only to ask, won’t someone tell a joke?   
and this mouse of a woman offered, What’s big and red   
and sits in the corner?   
                            A naughty bus.
Not funny, I know. But neither’s the story of us.

Source: Poetry (February 2009).


This poem originally appeared in the February 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

February 2009
 Chelsea  Rathburn


Chelsea Rathburn is the author of A Raft of Grief (2013) and The Shifting Line (2005). She received an NEA fellowship in poetry in 2009. She lives in Georgia.

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Poems by Chelsea Rathburn

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Men & Women

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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