Monday, September 10, 2012

Tuesday Poem - how long until the accident? by Helen Lehndorf

how long until the accident?

When I move to the new house will I be a better person?
We are leaving behind the placenta under the kowhai tree,
and the kowhai tree. I hate myself for caring what happens
to that tree. Hullo, hullo, I have to go. People don't write
letters any more, they send pixellated kisses. In today's news,
Finn broke his ankle again, says he has weak ankles.
More likely it is the stairs he falls down when he's drunk.
Scandal, scandal birthday candle.
He suggests a movie where 'there is no hugging and nobody
learns anything.' I will see if I can bend the hinge of family
enough to be let out. Smothered. Sfathered.

Starting to finally leave, to stare out windows to the south
of the city. Words/deeds. There are real birds and cd birds.
There is real rain and radio rain. When I move to the new house
what if I end up in flames? Not arson. Spontaneous.
It'll do, in the Manawatu. In the new house, I learn the weight
of the key, the contours of the lock. Mind that step,
it wobbles. I take my first drink of water from the tap, baptism.
His cupboard sticks. Place things on shelves gingerly,
like the house might shake them off. Watch your step.

I came upon two of Helen's poems in the new Poetry NZ. I really like them,
so intimate and playful. I will post the second poem soon.


  1. this is a great and inspiring poem... ---> whiplash treatment

  2. very nice indeed - Helen's great - thanks Jen

  3. I'm a real sucker for wordplay and playing around with words. I love that "Smothered. Sfathered." Brilliant!