Penni Russon is a poet and editor from Tasmania, who now lives in Melbourne. This poem is from her verse novel (a work in process) called The Hanging of Frances Knorr. Frances Knorr was hanged in 1896 for the murder of three babies in her care.

Garden Song

I held the structures
of you, the calcium caves
of your bones.

I thought I could rebuild you.
I wanted to keep you close,
dress you with leaves,
pale your skin with bark.

I wanted to fill your thoughts
with birds, keep you
safe as houses. I wanted
to wake you from where you slept
but you slept on.

You were taken.
One day and suddenly
I woke to find you gone.

The memories of you
grow wild as foreign grasses.

Copyright 2000 by Penni Russon