turbine 03
Turbine 03
Hinemoana Baker
James Brown
Kate Camp (audio)
Megan Dunn
Jane England
Ian Finch
Ingrid Horrocks
Chris House
Anna Jackson
Tim Jones
Laura Kroetsch
Kirsten McDougall (audio)
Mary Macpherson
Rick Moody
Naomi O’Connor
Esther Quin
Rossella Riccobono (audio)
Virginia Were
Louise Wrightson
Letter From Iowa

Mary Macpherson

Wrenching a Lid Off a Plastic Pottle

Swamp water oozes from hoof prints
as she struggles along, rising and falling,
believing, as usual, there’ll be a destination.

But it’s the locked room scene,
the one with the shameful part
where she cries, softly and politely,
like a mouse.

She knows the world is practical—
objects fitting holes (and quickly too
or the profits aren’t there).

She sees faint shapes in brown wood
that once spelt Baptist Church and remembers
a story about buildings and streets full of people.
The point was that everything becomes something else.

Knowing this is like scrabbling
at a hard plastic ridge with human fingers.
Bones and tendons shudder,
belief guides effort.

Or is it the other way round?
She interrogates the blank sky,
the kitchen ceiling.
In the evening light cools
along the bonnets of parked cars.
The hill is silent, except for ticking metal.
A world, apart from her mind,
asks to be connected and remembered.

Then people say, in that quick blunt way,
‘use your brains’ and ‘read the directions’.
Everything is obvious. She grabs a weapon
and drives the vein of back roads
where cans glint in the undergrowth
and cracked leaves dangle from grey branches.
Repentance and regret lie ahead.

About this Author
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