& we shall walk & talk in gardens all misty with rain
& never never grow so old again
Inscription, Wendy Whiteley’s Garden, Sydney
Narrow paths centre the terraces through
fig and flame and bangalow palm; leaves jostle
the storeys with shape and shade and tint
any leaf will take. A sanctuary with roots
in her childhood; Lavender Bay her own
rampant alchemy to wander in, like a painting.
And for us too, picnic tables, a bell hanging
in meditation, a birdbath from a cast-out sink.
With her hair wrapped in folds of iris-blue, Wendy
talks of how she replaced the debris among
the coral trees, cutting by cutting, plant
by plant and mulch, to revere them here:
her lover, their daughter. How all the willing
hours bloom unexpected grace from loss.
Kathryn Fry has poems in various anthologies, including Australian Love Poems, A Slow Combusting Hymn, Watermark and the Newcastle Poetry Prize anthologies of 2014 and 2016.