Two Forms

By Deborah Elderhorst

July 13, 2020

Two Forms

Henry Moore’s bronze sculpture Large Two Forms sits like a pair of discarded vertebrae on the pavement outside the art gallery, where small children clamber and slide through its round openings on their bellies and backsides. Teenagers, too, are drawn to these primal shapes. They slouch and swagger and pout for selfies, but their eyes as they peer through the foraminal spaces are still the eyes of children.

What happens when I touch the sculpture and look through an opening is that the past rushes out and swallows me. It is an August morning sixteen years ago, and you have just climbed down from the sculpture. We are on our way to the park behind the gallery. We are new to the city, know no one, are expected nowhere. I am almost invisible, but I try to stay solid for you. In the absence of home, the city offers up its small corners and hidden places for solace. This playground contains only an old sandbox, a seesaw and a row of swings, but it is enough to hold us today.

I sit on a park bench and pass you cubes of watermelon. You will not sit but lean against the bench and suck your fruit. Pink juice runs in rivulets down your chin, drips onto my knees. We are two forms leaning each toward the other, not quite touching.


Deborah Elderhorst is an award-winning writer of CNF and fiction who lives on Vancouver Island. Her work has appeared in literary journals, anthology and podcast in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the US. Find her online at


Image Credits:

Sculpture: Large Two Forms by Henry Moore, 1966 - 1969, currently displayed at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)

Photographer: M. Readey / CC BY-SA (

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