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Over the garden

The moment before
the head boy
saw your sister
polish Yes then
place it in
a wicker basket.


Unclear, as ever
when you focus
on the moment.
The hairdresser tightens
her white blouse
with whiter fingers.


Trace whose silhouette?
Love’s a cartoon
in eye-liner;
you must smooth
those crow’s-feet
back like this:
I love you....
There, that’s better –
lying in shadow.


‘...over the plain
of the world
lovers are being
hurt.’ Pus, blood:
how it comes
to pass. Only
what? No sense
describing the wound:
it’s a circle.

1976, Marshland Road, Christchurch. The title and the passage ‘...over the plain...’ quote ‘Quesada’ by C.K. Stead, the Shed, 1975.


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