Title: Among Rhododendrons

Author: Diana Bridge

In: Sport 22: Autumn 1999

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, March 1999

Part of: Sport

Keywords: Verse Literature

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Sport 22: Autumn 1999

Diana Bridge — Among Rhododendrons

page 112

Diana Bridge

Among Rhododendrons

The way in is a building that sprawls across
your path. On offer: leaflets and a wheelchair.

Here, an hour is time made vivid with the knowledge
of departure. Our steps follow facts pegged

in the discreet earth. Though we hardly know it,
what we seek are names—locations, dates,

campaigns: charged origins. Rhododendron
squadrons fringe a space in the brain,

a clearing where each colour flares
into a separate memory.

Burma is an outsize yellow,
paler than the robes of monks,

frailer than the woman kept under wraps
who watches the future from her garden.

Beside her, September reds clot and darken.
What can be said of that crimson,

free flowing as misjudged love?
You might wear it—a burden in your hair.

Soon you will lose it. Patches of
bell-shaped life compete and

fall. The mountain, ankle-
deep in mulch, is everywhere.

(at Pukeiti)