White Saris

for my son


What I knew of their house
was a blue garage door,
kicked-in at the middle.
A buckling dent.

You approach a scene like that
with caution. It takes time
to know whether to pause
or hurry, head down.

Their glowing white saris
on this grey marble day.
Outside the buckled
door, a station wagon, black.

I was thinking of you. How you
will find out. The black suit
you will wear. How the feel
of your best white shirt could hurt.

How silk might hang
in a cold wardrobe. I pushed
you through those people.
I pushed you along the road.

Angela Andrews was born in 1977, in Rotorua. After graduating from medical school, she spent several years living and working in provincial New Zealand before settling in Wellington with her husband and son. In 2005 she worked on a collection of poetry for the MA programme in Creative Writing at Victoria University. Her poems have appeared in Sport and Turbine.

Andrews comments: ‘It was my first Wellington winter and I was walking with my son, who was several months old at the time. I was cursing the fact I didn’t own gloves when I came across this large group of people gathered outside a house, only a block or so from my own home. The women were wearing beautiful white saris. As I got closer, I realised it was a family funeral, and the poem is pretty much exactly as I experienced it.’

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