2024 First Place

Dream of the Hexagonal House

by Laura Jenner

I dream that I phone you, one last time,
to say I have bought the hexagonal house
at the end of your street, that is, Number 6.
I often admired its unorthodox angles –
its small mullioned windows fire-washed by light,
the way it casts shadows on every side.

Well, you don’t lack courage, the solicitor said:
the hexagonal house takes effort and time.
The roof is leaking; there are no working lights.
Am I cracked in the head, a hexagonal house –
Each room is akimbo at two obtuse angles,
but there’s magic within it, the number six.

The bee and the snowflake are familiars of six.
Bees rose from a carcass, the myth-makers said.
The song of the hive is the hum of the angels.
The six-sided shape is as ancient as time.
Flowers bloom at their ease around a quiet house,
the bees dwell in the cell of hexagonal light.

So I phone in an offer, to the vendor’s delight,
citing Carl Jung, who had great love of the six.
Six nights, sweat-slicked, I dream of the house,
of unlocking the self, and slipping inside.
My solicitor says that conveyance takes time –
time crawls in degrees, imprisoned in angles.

Oh, geometry, Euclid, his flights of angles.
His name made me think, back then, of light.
The lucid within it? His glorious times.
The dark and the light in the numeral six –
The dark and the light on opposite sides,
as the sun moves round the hexagonal house.

The dispossessed self will dream of a house.
I think when we dream, it is the call of angels
that hover above us, saying what needs to be said.
What the dream says is simple: go into the light,
the nightmare is over. The house in the ground is six
feet down. And so I call you, one last time,

to say I fly to the angels, my father’s house,
to turn, they said turn, to the garden of light,
and six sides around me for now and all time.