Hinemoana Baker

methods of assessing the likely presence of a terrorist threat in a remote indigenous community

Wake in the dark to the sound of a log
dropping to the ground in a distant timber yard
a train uncoupling in the village
the growl of something old
angry and tethered.

No. It’s just your wife’s gentle snore.
Don’t allow the year to scare
the substance out of you – a woeful
fight between a toddler and a swarm of bees.
A predetermined sonata, but screamed.

Hide your Christmas funds in the empty
World War Two artillery shell.
When it matters most
have someone bend over your bed
to adjust the pillows, lifting and opening.

When she says Please don’t leave me
Say No, it is you who is leaving me.
Choose the avocado and the yellow ballpoint
with the testament This pen was stolen
from Finn McCool’s Irish Pub

712 Great South Road Manukau City.
For your final meal demand
beer and jaffa custard plus those twig-thin
chocolate spirals at two dollars ninety-five a dozen.
A fine writing implement melting between your fingers.

When someone says a pole without a flag
respond a woman in her pyjamas kneeling
on concrete. Post something
to PO Box 47 Taneatua
then wait for the small, brown flowers

to burst open. Listen to the
newspaper-reading in the next room
the crack of the page under your writing hand
something metal, unoiled
turning in the wind.

Author’s Note


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