new zealand electronic poetry centre

S o m e   s h e l l s   i n   a   t o b a c c o   t i n

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                                                    Cy Mathews

“Works written may be seen as the lemons and apples put forth from a
writer's life, but it is the root that needs the nourishment.”

                                      - Ruth Dallas


In a garden, someone is growing a tree


One morning, they notice a little door, set into the trunk of the tree. Curious, they test the handle. It is locked.

The tree grows. With it grows the door.

Now and then, as the years pass, the person comes out and tests the handle. Always, it is locked. One year the top of the door comes up to their knee. One year, to their waist. One year, to their shoulder.

They notice the tree is beginning to bud . . . small, hard fruit, as thin as nails.

They think: perhaps when the fruit is ripe I will bite into it, and feel its seeds between my teeth, like small, black keys.

And on that night I will unlock the door in my tree, and step inside, into the final, expanding world.