Kim Meredith Melhuish
New Zealand

Fish heads

They buried their bodies out back by the lilies
where the sun sneaks a cigarette
hiding in the shade.
It was a good death or deaths, my mother said
tripping over her tenses and the plural,
folding into herself when I show her.
They were holding hands, staring at the rows of fish
when they decided to kill off the past.
My father cut out his tongue
and used an old transistor radio to fill the space.

In our village back home, Rita tells her story
until dad reminds her Fred and Ginger 
are waiting in the sitting room.


Our neighbour steps over the front lawn
standing deep in Mum’s marigolds

He says to my parents
There are some people inside…

the words falling across
a scent of small orange gods.

I chase after her footsteps.

Missing beat

Mum’s brothers across the blood red couch
wear Monday-morning faces

Measure the space inside their fists
beating my father’s heart back into place
mum soothing her large belly quiet.

I’m hidden behind her armchair
its thick knotted grey wool
strong and warm to touch.

Biography Kim Meredith Melhuish
Kim Meredith Melhuish has a Political Studies degree from the University of Auckland and a Masters in Social Work from Massey University. She describes her work as observations of everyday life: finding meaning in the menial, and treasure in small talk. She is working through her first book on the page while maintaining her hectic schedule as a mother to a wonderful but demanding brood and partner to a musician husband.

The Island - Rosie Whinray - 2015