Tuesday Poem – The lover, by Aleksandra Lane

The lover

It is always in winter that he grows another hand. This new hand is
smaller, softer, but it is his nevertheless. The new hand keeps his old
hand warm, finger locked with finger, palm pressing palm. Then the
spring comes, his palms are sweaty again and he slowly sheds the
miraculous winter hand. First all the baby fat, then the skin sags off
and finally one day he finds himself clutching the bare bones, like a
handful of broken birch twigs.

Aleksandra Lane

Birds of Clay is Aleksandra Lane’s first book in English, after two published in Serbian. Aleks moved to New Zealand in 1996, and completed her MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University’s Institute of Modern Letters in 2010, receiving the Biggs Poetry Prize. Her poems have been published in Jacket2, Sport, Turbine, Takahe, Snorkel, Side Stream and Swamp. She lives in Wellington and is studying for a PhD in English at Massey University.

I was lucky enough to be at the launch of ‘Birds of Clay’ a couple of weeks ago, which featured delicious Serbian delicacies, a very entertaining gypsy music duo from Melbourne and, of course, Aleks’ wonderful poetry.   I very much enjoyed reading the book and I know I’ll be going back to it.

Here’s the link to more great Tuesday poems at the Tuesday poem blog, or you can click on the scroll to the left.


  1. The final image of this poem is astounding – bare bones like a bundle of twigs. I’d love to read more of Aleks’ poetry, will have to seek out ‘Birds of Clay’. I wonder if her collection devotes itself more or less to prose poetry or if there is a mix of forms, Janis? I’d be interested to know… Thanks for sharing!

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