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Close-Up Of Hands

BooksNovember 8, 2019

The Friday Poem: I’ve buried 13 grandmothers and 21 mothers, by Holly Fletcher

Close-Up Of Hands

A new poem by Dunedin-born poet Holly Fletcher.


I’ve buried 13 grandmothers and 21 mothers


Am I occupied?

Last Wednesday there was this huge train full of people running.

How they navigated was beyond me.

There are so many make-believe sweets that
I am making
sick in the air at the thought of it.

But they are just thoughts. 

Did I secretly pray last night?
Today is singing to me in answer of the belief that knowing wants to give.

So how many Mothers do I need?

One for the bathroom and one for the dining room.
There is one lurking next to the bed 

tucking in the corners of sheets.

Mother’s arms like cellotape securing my feet.
Maybe I’m just like a tree falling in the forest

If a mother doesn’t see it –

I have this face, hand and leg that is on
the verge of expiring like my 13 Grandmothers did.

I swear it’s true.

There is a night-time between my fingers.

Why can’t I stop laughing?

Keep going!