BooksMade possible by

The Friday Poem: ‘Hot Baths’ by Fleur Adcock

New verse by New Zealand-born writer living in England, Fleur Adcock.


Hot Baths


These days when anxious friends confide in me

about their intimate medical problems

it’s never that they’re afraid they’re pregnant

and the situation is complicated

by not being sure whether the father

was that guy from Christchurch at my party

or, two days afterwards, up at Nick’s place,

when we all stayed the night sleeping on floors,

our brilliant but unstable student friend –

far too young; and the one from Christchurch, well . . .

plus they’ve proved that the old wives’ remedy –

casseroling yourself in a boiling bath

while drinking gin – serves only to make you drunk,

and not happy-drunk; sickening, really.


From Fleur Adcock’s new collection of verse Hoard (Victoria University Press, $25), available at Unity Books.

The Spinoff Longform Fund is dedicated to facilitating investigative journalism. Our focus is on supporting in-depth reporting on important New Zealand stories. Your donation will help us sustain this most resource-intensive form of journalism, ensuring that the most complex and important stories still get told.