She outlived him by twenty five years
in the little house she built
where the hen house was. Flowers
everywhere, she was a woman of flowers
as the years slipped past her, her fingers
clutching cuttings or poking slips
into the soil. And elaborate creations
in vases for the sitting room, the dining
table, the annual Church fete
and Agricultural Show. The stopped
silent grandfather clock in my home
is luxuriant still with the twining vines
that her young hands carved
in its upright oak, the dolphins she sculpted
greet us in her grandson’s hallway –
that tiny bent figure, her fingers
full of flowers, still getting their names right
after ninety years.
Andrew Taylor is the author of seventeen books of poetry, including Collected Poems (Salt, UK 2004), The unhaunting (Salt, UK 2009), and Impossible Preludes
(Margaret River Press, 2016). He has published much literary criticism, and written the libretti for two operas, as well as translating poetry from German and
Italian. In 1975 he co-founded Adelaide’s Friendly Street Poets, Australia’s oldest continuous public poetry reading, and later the South Australian Writers’ Centre.
He is Professor Emeritus at Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia.
Since leaving Perth in 2014 he divides his time between Sydney and Wiesbaden in Germany.