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The Friday Poem: ‘When Lorelai broke the curtain rail’ by Amanda Kennedy

New verse by Auckland writer Amanda Kennedy.

 

 When Lorelai broke the curtain rail

 

I was sitting in the kitchen talking to my sister

When Lorelai broke the curtain rail.

She ran in to announce her crime,

trailed off behind her mother to the scene

awaiting sentencing, her

husky little voice going sorry, sorry, sorry –

shit’s so real when you’re five

 

Luckily for Lorelai, the news was on TV

my sister standing at the tiny crime scene suddenly could see

people hovering like hornets over houses in the sand

battering battered buildings in a battered land

blood on crumpled clothing

bombs in back gardens

Gazan fish in a Gaza-shaped barrel.

 

She looked down

at this quivering kid, so full of sorry, and

I think it was one of those moments –

dusk outside, that silky light, starlings gathering in trees to murmur up a storm across West

Auckland skies before the night,

and sudden silence inside her.

 

A curtain rail was perhaps beyond repair,

but this dark-eyed little kid

with husky voice and yellow trousers,

she was here

 

And a thousand mums would put a thousand curtain rails up a thousand times

if only they could have their child back to pull a curtain rail down again, right?

 

So as Gaza boiled in black smoke on screen,

it bought a little girl a little grace

 

My sister didn’t say as much, but

you could see the words rampage

across her face, going

 

Swing on the stupid curtains til the end –

Break the rails, kid.


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