new zealand electronic poetry centre

Jenny Bornholdt

online works

It was a year of great sadness
in the garden. A sister
died. Our friends’ wounded
marriage. A sick child. Another
sister died and they wrapped her
in cloth and we laid her
in the ground. Rest
we hoped for. For the comfort
of a surface soft as paint
mixed with beeswax.
We hoped at least the animals
would remain, but
all the little dogs in the street
ran away from home – an airedale
terrier called Lucy ending up
in a café in town.
Helpless in the face
of sick animals, we wept
over a hedgehog, held the hunched
body of our sleeping child
close. Solace came in small
ways – dealing kindly
with bees in the kitchen,
the sidestepping
of a moth across
a night window.
The child said here
I’ll put my
arms around you
so you don’t get lost.
After time a vase
entered our lives
as a body of light
its white flowers a kind of
peace we craved and
entered as the gate
to another garden
on a hillside, tended by
women who looked up
from roses to mountains
and saw snow
bloom there


From These Days (VUP, 2000)

Jenny Bornholdt

Last updated 16 February, 2005