All the willing hours

& 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


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.

© 2017