Heidi North
New Zealand
Bad days


The night before she falls
asleep during an argument.
In the morning she cannot remember
what she has lost.

She puts on her cat skin
and creeps from the house.
The kick in the stomach
stays all day.


The pigeons fly unexpectedly,
flock of claws drawn
wings screeching.

She unlocks the silent scream
of her mother and aunt
their fear palpable in her own.

People around her walk past
they cannot see a mute girl
abandoning her body.


Her tonsils wake
before her body,
swollen bananas stuffed
down her throat.

The day greets her
grey and heavy,
clanking at the windows.

She remembers she is alone.


Nearly naked, bandages
bound around
ankles arms feet eyes

Strong legs propel me upwards
through the darkness

There is silence
then the music starts to build

Writhe out of one
then another bond

Blindfolded I fall from the bar

Catch myself

At the last moment

In the audience I hear my mother
breath again


The helpful man says
you'll be lucky

And we are.
Pipis rise out to meet us,
poke up their little yellow tongues.

We drive all the way home with a bucket sloshing
over the sides in the steamy car

Just wait till you taste them, I say
they're amazing.

Once we could walk home
take turns to hold the plastic bucket in our
Hot Little Hands
as dad might have said. Then laughed

at us running along the beach
at the dog chasing seagulls,
Mr McDonald from the bach yelling

I'll bloody call someone I will
You know I bloody will!

There is a picture of dad through a red window
all the sea flying out behind him.

On the bottom he has written
Whangarei Heads - land of my dreams.

Heidi North lives in wellington, She has been living in China for a year,
teaching .Heidi is an actor actor and a writer. She has just completed the IOWA workshop at the IIML at Victoria University.