Johanna Emeney


Making Contact

It’s dusk and the old electric heater is trying its four bars.
I am thinking, again, of where you are and how I might get through.

           The medium was a nonsense of guesswork and guile
           and the dreams I had were forced narratives.

           I tried writing a letter with my right hand.
           After a glass of wine, I used the left to channel your reply
           but all that came out  were backhanded compliments.

The room is slowly losing its chill. The cat spills herself onto my lap

           I wonder if you were happy here,
           where we sat as a family in the bowl of the valley;
           waking to birds fluting and chipping their native mimicry,
           then following the late afternoon arrows of geese
           over acres of hard graft and laden fruit trees.

How long do you think it will be until I can sleep?

I see.

           I see.



Johanna Emeney works as an English teacher at her alma mater, Kristin School, in Albany, Auckland. She recently returned to New Zealand with her husband, David, her best souvenir, after fourteen years in England. ‘Making Contact’ grew from contemplation of the fact that she now lives about two kilometres from her childhood home, deep in the bowl of the valley. She is delighted to be a permanently returned godwit.