Spring song


Flapping and screeching the fledglings list
from their nests. Those little marble hearts

are hammering. How will they learn 
their element? Clouds are to sky

as words to thought: brief, dissolving
statements through which we gill,

craving more oxygen, thinner membranes.
Such hunger deep in the wing 

for flight. To soar, to swoop, to glide –
how infinite the open mouth of any launched verb.



Sue Wootton is a lapsed physiotherapist and acupuncturist who lives in Dunedin. In 2003 she was awarded a mentorship under the NZSA mentor programme, and was shortlisted for the Lillian Ida Smith award. Her poetry has appeared in the NZ ListenerJAAMTakaheNZ PoetryBravadoOtago Daily Times and North and South. Work has been anthologised in NZ Poetry Society collections (2003 and 2004), and in the Dunedin anthology Under Flagstaff. Sue helps run ‘Upfront’, a monthly performance evening for women poets, and takes poetry workshops for kids – all of which is a whole lot more fun than physio!