Queen's Quarterly

Queen's Quarterly
Queen's Quarterly

We Were Admiring Our New Wood Floors

Henry Hughes

when the oak cried
saw teeth and nails. Varnish
finally soothing them down
into lying
blonde and beautiful.

With the windows wiped
of blood-smudged feathers,
the sun rushed right in,
blanching our vacation carpets
into continents of shame, until
we cheered them with blinds.

Struggling up the dark stairs,
those tortoise shell sconces
cast gloomy stains ...

* poem, in its entirety, is available in the printed version of the current issue.


Henry Hughes, a past contributor to Queen’s Quarterly, is the author of four poetry collections, including Men Holding Eggs, which received the Oregon Book Award, and the memoir Back Seat with Fish: A Man’s Adventures in Angling and Romance. Hughes edited the Everyman’s anthologies The Art of Angling: Poems about Fishing and Fishing Stories. His commentary on new poetry appears regularly in Harvard Review.