Sarah Jane Barnett



In the gallery
as we stand in front of a wall
of bronze, delicate butterflies

Alan says I feel fine.

I think the wings move,
twitch free from the plaster -
a large forewing covers my face,
the antenna gently working
over my scalp.

Behind us his grandchild
air-planes, oblivious
to fingers reaching out,
exuberance a vapour trail.

Alan leans on hands
laced behind his head,
red wool jersey full,
bright and deceptive.

The child wiggles her feet
and flips the hem of her tutu.

I clasp arms around him,
the wool rough on my cheek,

the edges of his shoulder
blades beneath my palms.



Sarah Jane Barnett is a heritage professional who lives in Wellington with her partner Jim and cat Chicken. Her work has appeared in The Christchurch Press, Catalyst, Takahe and on the e-zines Blackmail Press and Turbine. During 2006 Sarah completed the MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters.