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But it's only a short walk to the station.

trees cold
leaves fallen,
wind sits
on nasturtiums.
theres a dead weta
on bricks,
cobwebs blown
from a blue chair

she could run
to the woodshed
split wood for fire,
kned dough
bake it, eat it
warm with cinnamon

she'll stand on the platform,
no umbrella, the wind
biting her skin.

on the train she'll think
about buying a hat,
gloves, scarf, maybe.

she counts coins
enough for a ticket
& 2 pears for her mother;

it starts to rain.

Clay Womb

rain behind this wall,
behind me, gushes,
a rusted drainpipe,
broken water filing a hole
it creates as it falls

thoughts of wombs,
you, conceived beneath a willow,
our transit van parked on a dirt track
on the way back from sweetwaters,
your father filling a billy
with river water for the radiator

today, words from you
out of the blue,
down a wire to this screen,
you're carrying uncertain seed

I howl, claw for clay
shape a womb like bowl,
to warm the child who will fall
amongst tall grass and rust

E tu whakaruru hau nei
(standing as shelter to the wind)

                              For Muriel Poole 'who should have been my grandmother'

I'd wake to voices
passing the window
of my room, spin
arms outstretched
up the long hallway
through light cast
by coloured glass panes
in your front door

into the kitchen
you boiling eggs
on the green gas cooker,
grilling toast for soldiers
while i drank cocoa
in my favorite china cup

then the laundry,
me turning the
hand wringer for
boiled sheets,
you stirring
the copper with
strong hands

we'd pick tamarillo,
hunt for fallen
grapefruit & lemons
in your overgrown
back garden,
hold the fruit to our noses
& laugh

beneath the open corner
window, amid fruit smells
& sun we'd sit on the old
bench seat covered in
peggy-square rugs.
you'd read turf digest
teach me to pick winners,
& knit, I was 7 and safe
within your patience

some days you'd
put on your leopard
skin pill box hat,
we'd catch the bus,
have lunch at the top
of Farmers & you'd
buy me lace hankies,
once a pair of burmuda
shorts & it rained, but

I stood mouth open
to catch drops from god
praying he never took me
away from you

so who left your body
broken, lying on the floor
bathed in patches of light
cast by the coloured glass
in your front door

as you drank,
drowned in blood.
from blackened eyes,
who did you see?

I saw coloured glass,
smashed it & saw
the death of god


they move within the small space
of the blue room
stepping around,
past each other

sitting, he rests his head on his desk,
she stops pacing,
reaches to touch his back,
turns to the half curtained window,
watches a swing on a heavy chain,
her words, from behind a veil

he says his wife is obsessed
with after match cricket interviews,
watching so she can say,
see? he said it again!

with a silver pen he begins to write,
stops, removes his glasses,
cleans them, says
Eros is casting a shadow

she sites, hands between knees,
thinks, the gold on his finger is melting,
she'll wrap it up in the paper he'll give her,
take it home, put it under her pillow,
close the curtains, rid her room of shadows

All works copyright .

Carole Nelson Phillips,
New Zealand