Paula Harris

Spin March1999

chamomile and lemon balm

in need of some healing
i drive and drive
until i reach a brick pathway
lined with lavender
gently waving and bobbing
as i pass by.
i sit on a bench
resting my feet
on the chamomile floor
and i breathe.
a honey coloured angel
lays her head on my knee
while i scratch behind her ears
and i breathe.
and when i have breathed enough
i walk back
the sea of lavender
parting before me
my angel loping behind me
and i smile.

First published in Spin 33 (1999)
Also published in Poems in The Waiting Room (2012)

Paula Harris

About Paula

Paula Harris lives in Aotearoa/New Zealand, where she writes and sleeps a lot, because that's what depression makes you do. She won the 2018 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize and the 2017 Lilian Ida Smith Award, and was a semi-finalist for the 2020 92Y Discovery Poetry Prize. She was the recipient of a Vermont Studio Center writing residency in 2018.

Her poetry has been published in various journals, including Passages North, Barren, New Ohio Review, SWWIM, Gulf Coast, The Spinoff, Poetry New Zealand Yearbook and Aotearotica. Her essays have been published in The Sun, Passages North, The Spinoff and Headlands: New Stories of Anxiety (Victoria University Press).

She is extremely fond of dark chocolate, shoes and hoarding fabric.