Plot 608, The Old Balclutha Cemetery

how deep grief is

how insubstantial this sand
to hold these
the fleshless remnants
of our parents

all our ancestral DNA

exons to earth
introns to dust

who will read you now
my brave wee mother

and who decode
your silence, Dad

and what will we
the messengers
say to the world

Ever since Mrs Entwisle’s English at Otago Girls’ High, Rae Varcoe has been delighted, entertained and sustained by reading poetry. Latterly she has been writing. She has acquired an MA in Creative Writing from Victoria University and has had poems published in SportTakahePoetry NZ and in medical journals in the US. She is a physician who specialises in the management of malignant blood disorders.

Varcoe comments: ‘The poem attempts to combine the languages of basic human science and basic human experience. Exons and introns allow the DNA code to be read. The exons are the coding sequence and introns are the silent splicers.’

Poem source details >



Victoria University Press author page