Lesley Wheeler






Enter the Wormhole

In amber: boy and father on a broken kauri,
playing the hand game Crighton taught Dargo.
According to poetry’s chronodynamics, this
is still happening in a virtual Aotearoa,
because time is not a line but a rhythm.
Inside the seed cone, the giant conifer.
Gumfields jammed with fossilized trunks, all
felled along the same axis by some tsunami
like adolescence. The resin shipped out
in shoe-polish tins with kiwi birds
stamped on the lids. Remember rubbing
leather with waxy rags? The scent of growing
up, striding away? That’s here, too, trapped
in a virtual space where your show is never
cancelled and a wave endlessly changes
Northland forever. My son’s light condenses
into mānuka honey. Rock breaks scissors,
scissors cut paper, paper preserves.




Lesley Wheeler’s most recent poetry collection, The Receptionist and Other Tales (Aqueduct 2012), was named to the Tiptree Award Honor List. Her other books include Heterotopia, winner of the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize, and Heathen. Her poems appear in Prairie Schooner, Subtropics, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and other venues, and she teaches at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.