Louise Wallace



She is knitting in the sun-room.
Her watery eyes                         gaze
out the window, and her hands move
on instinct.

Recently I found out she’d been engaged
and that only the war had prevented
                                         this man
from becoming my grandfather.

I know she has not always
been my grandmother,
but I am just two turns from her –
I like this.
She is a good person
to be just two turns from.

When she received the letter
she must have cried herself out.
                                        Our hearts
must have split in the same way.



do you ever feel
you have been writing
the same poem
all these years
on the same bank
of the river
looking at the same
stretch of water
the same overhanging branch
all those women
in the same
long line
passing things
to you
Form a chain!
is what people
always yell
and here you are
not to let them down



Louise Wallace is a Wellington poet whose work has previously appeared in Meanjin, Takahe and Poetry NZ. In 2008 she completed her MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters and was awarded the Biggs Poetry Prize for that year. She was an editor for the 2008 issue of Turbine and is currently at work on her first collection of poems.