Tuesday, October 4, 2011


The whole house turned wild
took a deep breath
with the noise of it
like snapped wood

It was before the dartboard
before father fixed a flywire door
before anyone thought
of a startled death

My young brother
too sick of dying
from archaic flow of arrows
from Robin Hood’s deathly yowl
from behind the staghorn wall
where a graceful thrust of sword
pinched him to the floor

the sharpest tool from the shed
and with a garrulous burst from the woods
cried ─ ‘Bull’s eye, you're dead!’

Missing the older brother by an inch
the knife split the wood
writing the veranda door
back to a Celtic myth

My young brother vanished
for most of the week

My older brother
sucked awe through his teeth
gauged the battle scar

This was what he wanted
to stand
as one peels back armour
in pride of his life


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Helen Hagemann's first literary collection, Evangelyne & other poems, was published by the Australian Poetry Centre in their New Poets Series 2009. 'of Arc & Shadow' is her second full collection published by Sunline Press. She has two e-books, The Joyous Lake & Par écrit: poetry of the feminine @ http://issuu.com/evangelyne/​​docs/joyous_lake/


of Arc & Shadow


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