Lotus Pond: Botanical Gardens, Wellington
All winter I have harried the pond
with restless visiting.
As rain hammers the glass roof
and a fan worries the edge of sight,
I remember something missed.
How June after June pink buds
on the Chinese lake became small stupas
housing more than a flower can.
Did gods sit there inside each pleated bulb?
Some say they did.
I saw only the aftermath
a waste of toppled stalks.
The lotuses have flown,
acquired visas and migrated to
the middle of this pool. There
they huddle, like with like.
Precarious, unrooted; community
is all. Their sons and daughters
rise on curving stems,
turning the plates of their small-featured
faces to the light, as if to music.
original unpublished version, © Diana Bridge 2004, revised version from Red Leaves (Auckland University Press, 2005), used by permission of the author. Recording from the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive 2004