Title: Sport 21: Spring 1998

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, October 1998, Wellington

Part of: Sport

Conditions of use



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Sport 21: Spring 1998

Bernadette Hall

Bernadette Hall

page 138

Go Easy, Sweetheart

Hydrangea clouds are loosed and floaty
on the black pool. She's making a hard job

of it, the little girl with the wooden spoon
creaming the butter and the sugar. Go easy,

sweetheart. Little bubbles exploding soft
like years later when he licks and licks and little

bomb blasts like pain that must be entered
into. Like delight. Her knuckles whiten,

her elbow is rigid with blessings: lavender shortbread
and honey ice-cream and all manner of berries.

I can only understand you when you speak with an American
accent. She's watched it all before—flower,

fruit and fall. Aha, so that's how it's done!
Still wondering how on earth it is to be done.

page 139

Be Well, Be Humble

She writes: in the dream I am the victim
of a car crash or a domestic dispute,

you decide. I'm lying white in a white
bed in a white ward with little black

stitches like staples hitching ten red
slashes on my arms and my face,

when suddenly the stitches twitch, arch
and flick out. It's anacondas and

tarantulas. Scream.
‘Be well,
be humble,’ says the whiskey priest

in a courtly fax on gilt-edged Papal paper,
‘even as a tumble of runner beans on a compost

heap is humble. Anything other is vice.
How lovely to hear your new voice.’