Fiction    Reading Room    Memoir    Interview
Frances Samuel


Johnny approached on a horse,
Rode up. I stayed where I was.
If someone is via horse
Exit on foot is futile.
I have a heart, don’t think
Hooves are meaningless to me.
There’ve been daylight dreams of a white stallion,
Riderless against the sunset. That’s where
We differ. Careful with that umbrella keep your feet
This side of the border. It’s war in peacetime
And washed-out birds practice bullet awareness:
Swoops, figure eights and crash landings.
The Season has opened and old men shoot ducks on the moor.
I first heard of ‘roaming the moor’ in The Secret Garden.
A soft-whistling boy had a flute and animal friends.
Perfect way to get by but impossible to imitate
In the suburbs. Years later Johnny has a phobia of flying
And we remain where we began: Rusting fence, children
To come and Sundays trying to worm the cat
With clothes-pegs and kind, steady hands.
This routine exceeded all expectation.
Johnny comes in from the garden carrying lettuces
And cauliflowers by their throats. He cooks
While I teach our seventh budgie to perch on my finger.
The budgie arrived on our windowsill last winter.
It was missing part of its beak and recited
Moses parted the waves with an obvious lisp.
On the third waves we lifted the glass
And let him in. Johnny and I,
We can never say no.
Johanna Aitchison
Michele Amas
Angela Andrews
Airini Beautrais
Jenny Bornholdt
Amy Brown
Lynn Davidson
Emily Dobson
Fiona Farrell
Cliff Fell
Janis Freegard
Helen Heath
Anne Kennedy
Stefanie Lash
Jan Lauwereyns
Vana Manasiadis
Talia Marshall
James McNaughton
Alice Miller
Gregory O’Brien
Frances Samuel  
Robyn Schiff
Marty Smith
Elizabeth Smither
Chris Tse
Nick Twemlow
Ashleigh Young

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