Title: Sport 40: 2012

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, 2014, Wellington

Part of: Sport

Conditions of use



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Sport 40: 2012

Louise Wallace

page 362

Louise Wallace

Without any doves or laurel

She arrived at the hostel and unpacked her things. Now she could finally relax. No more thinking about work or difficult relationships, this was what she had been waiting for. Seraphina deserved a break.

She decided she would do the bush walk that afternoon, recommended to her by the hostel’s owner—an enthusiastic fellow, who seemed to be everywhere she went. Ten minutes in and already she could tell this wasn’t a walk for the faint of heart. The track was marked at varying and sometimes much too long intervals by orange hazard tape tied around trees—the kind that said DANGER and DO NOT ENTER in black.

Seraphina went up, down, up and down again—following the orange markers—through a stream, up once more and finally was led to a clearing. She had lost all sense of direction, she could be anywhere now.

At the end of the clearing was a modest cabin, from which a small man emerged. He had brown hair and had filed his teeth into sharp points, or else had been born that way. ‘Welcome, my dear,’ he said, with a shining smile. ‘I’ve been waiting for you such a very long time.’

page 363

The feijoas are falling from the trees

The feijoas are falling from the trees—
a fresh bag-load every day.

Winter is on its way.
I am in the kitchen
shucking feijoas like oysters—
filling ice-cream containers to freeze.

Won’t it be nice to eat them in July?
Rory is a good man, who hates feijoas.

I see a strong gust outside
and I imagine the sound of a feijoa falling.
Crashing into branches on its way down,
waiting to be plucked
from the leaves and soil.

Winter is on its way.
I try to think of how I could earn
more money; work harder, get ahead.
There is never enough
and it would be nice to get ahead.

I write a list of all the things
I need to make—
stewed feijoas, feijoa crumble—
another gust: feijoa cake.