Title: Sport 17

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, November 1996, Wellington

Part of: Sport

Conditions of use



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Sport 17: Spring 1996

Chris Price

Chris Price

page 93

A Drop Of Mercury

Great-Aunt Helen
orbits Emily Way
twenty years of houses, friends
suddenly unfamiliar

she keeps the vertigo
to herself (a drop
of mercury)
walks the shopping trolley
remembers flying
—her first Piper Cub
at 35—

and a canoe
on the Amazon
of which her grand-
daughters are ignorant

looks at her life
star cooling at the
wrong end
of the telescope

long nights in a room
only gravity listening.

page 94

Mexican Couple

She loves the milky gaze
the way he looks through her sometimes
from where he's been.

And he? Also loves, but lacks
They try to break

and for a while ‘the hours
were broken’ but
history sticks them back

together, a rough match
until one burns out
in a halo of fire.

Sometimes unhappiness
—his affairs, her operations—
makes a pair perfect

this too is written
in the bestiary of marriage
the elephant, the bleeding hind

the shape of things
the heart, the arrow
unknown to Vogue

page 95

but covered, yes
and coveted. The art
to struggle into

what you've got
catch the photographer
off guard

and there!
two pre-Columbian idols
outstare Time.