Adam Tavel

A Convalescent Bed in a Field of Yellow Tulips
December 23, 2018 Tavel Adam

A Convalescent Bed in a Field of Yellow Tulips
for DL

Your wires trail into a gopher hole.
A tea of clover greens the IV bag.
Two mice have made the stack of pillows propped
their soft cathedral. They scratch like children
impatient for a homily to end.
Frost fans its ragged ponytail across
the footboard. No spiders creep the sheets.
It seems a stretch, but you can yawn and push
the comforter into a little mound
of springtime snow so a cardinal can land,
resplendent as a sore, to peck and pull
holly berries from your socks. His sleek
and pointed helmet finds its feast. He’s come
to beak each reddened host upon your tongue.

Adam Tavel is the author of five books of poetry, including two new collections: Green Regalia (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2022) and Sum Ledger (Measure Press, 2022). His third book, Catafalque, won the Richard Wilbur Award (University of Evansville Press, 2018). His recent poems appear in North American Review, Ploughshares, The Georgia Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Ninth Letter, The Massachusetts Review, Copper Nickel, and Western Humanities Review, among others. You can find him online at