(Photo: Fred Tanneau / AFP via Getty Images)

The Friday Poem: washed up! by Ash Davida Jane

A new poem by Wellington poet and bookseller Ash Davida Jane.


washed up!


it gets tiring pushing the fire alarm every night

                                                but things keep catching on fire

or sometimes it’s only a dream & we have to undo it all


                        send the firemen away!

                                                get everybody back to bed!


            wait for the ringing in our ears to fade

our clothes are heavy with the smell of smoke

                        even hanging on the line they look ashen & worn down 

            like people on a cigarette break


we can get used to anything given enough time 

                                                                      for example

it took 35 years for people to get used to hundreds of Garfield phones 

                        washing up on a French coast


they became part of the scenery 

                        with dirt settled in the hollows of their eyes 

                                                             & nobody ever calling


imagine walking down the beach when one by one 

                                                                       they all start to ring

            what a cacophony!                I pick up the receiver 

            but there’s nobody on the other end of the line


months later I wake in the middle of the night

            & think I hear it                     that damn cat!

                        turns out it’s just the fire alarm again

                        turns out                     the walls are burning

                                                  & I can’t see them for the smoke


The Friday Poem is edited by Ashleigh Young. Submissions for The Friday Poem are currently closed and will reopen in May 2020.

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