Tuesday Poem – There Must Have Been a Reason

 for my presence at a meeting

the week before it happened

for me to dress in suitable attire

and move my winter legs

into the chill


past the fresh dug grave

in the churchyard to the  bus stop

by the café

where the sign still reads

‘Índian restaurant opening soon.’

Yes there must have been a reason

for my rush to be on time

a week early.


Perhaps it was that moment of acceptance

of autumn leaves squashed into the mud

half brown camellias dropped on greasy paths 

and the darkness of the river

beneath the dilute sun.

Or the once close friends

whose eager greeting

melted through my frozen thoughts.


It could have been

the way my glasses misted

in the warmth of the indoors

the lunch with me alone

at the long table.


I think it was the walking home

past the grave

taken now

and in the trees above

the buds which dared to fatten in the frost.

I hope this poem speaks for itself.  I would have stayed home on that day but the thought of meeting with writer friends at the Dux de Lux, in the Arts Centre,  Christchurch and enjoying discussion and jollility, drew me out.  I would have missed out on a poem if there had been a meeting. 🙂 The above is the graveyard on a much nicer day.

This poem was published in the New Zealand Poetry Society’s 2011  anthology ‘Ice Diver ‘

Please return to Tuesday Poets and read Tim Jones’ editorial  feature on Alistair Te Ariki Campbell’s beautiful poem,’Why Don’t You Talk To Me?’  And remember to scroll down the side bar to check out other Tuesday Poems posted for your delight this week.

12 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem – There Must Have Been a Reason

    • Hi Helen,
      I suppose it is…elegaic…what a lovely word that is. Thankyou! it is still standing unless something has happened recently..but had a lot of damage. St Peters Church Corner.

  1. I can feel the pull in this poem – it conveys that desire to be amongst others, that strong sense of purpose. I really like the conversational tone you take, thinking through your impulse 🙂

    • Thanks Elizabeth, I never thought of it that way. It was such a bleak day and I had the wrong day (for the meeting at any rate)…it seemed like there must have been some purpose and so there was! 🙂

  2. Hi Helen. Lovely to think that the result of a mistaken date is a charming poem. Sometimes our own company can be stimulating too.

  3. A remarkable poem, Helen. The grave as a “long table” (those smaller white tables one finds at cheap cafes, in fact, have often reminded me of gravestones). Is there relief in the grave being “taken now” on the way home — the corpse “alone at the long table,” you might say, no friends, no mourners, the fresh-dug grave filled with another pair of cold legs, dressed in “suitable attire,” while the narrator’s glasses grow misty, her frozen thoughts finding warmth in fattening buds? Or maybe it works another way, with the narrator, in effect, having risen from the dead beneath the dilute sun. Either way, a beautiful, memorable work.

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