Guest Poem by Jan FitzGerald

Jan FitzGerald. With a poetry history that began as Jan Coad in New Zealand (NZ) literary journals of the 1970s, Jan’s poems continue to appear in NZ and overseas in the Atlanta Review (USA), Meniscus (Aus), London Magazine, Orbis, The High Window and Acumen (UK), among others. Her fourth poetry book was published by Cuba Press 2022. Jan works as a fulltime artist in her seventies, in Napier, NZ.

Sky Goodbye

I didn’t see you at the funeral.
You weren’t there.
I believe you escaped in a shaft of light
streaming through the stained glass window,
before the organist went all stops out
and speakers leant too long on the pulpit —
as far away as possible from all that palaver.

Out into the crunch of snow,
skis over one shoulder,
you tramped to the highest ridge
looking down on the village
as mourners now traipsed towards a hall
for hot scones and a gabfest

and appraising the last slope
before daffodils poked through the thaw,
you adjusted your goggles, took a deep breath
and propelled yourself
                                             into air sweet as heaven.