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BooksDecember 10, 2021

The Friday Poem: talk to your baby, by Louise Wallace

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A new poem from poet and Starling editor Louise Wallace.

talk to your baby

this is the sound of waves / of no preference / of low-fuss mothering / or working and staying reputable / this is the sound of being undercover / this is what it sounds like to be secretly terrified / and this is the sound of washing / drying flatly / in heat / the sound of a booster seat / being installed / this is the sound of intent / and of planning / and preparation / for something for which you can’t prepare / this is the sound of size / the sound / of a guarantee / and of hope / this is the sound / found / in a library / this is the sound of a screen / in the dark / the sound of being online / this is the sound of temptation / of fear / of harm / of hours / and this / the noise of uncertainty / of problems / change / the sound of being informed / the sound of knowledge / and so also / the sound of support / and reassurance / but / there is further bad news / the sound of bad posture / a continuous slouch / the sound of breasts / and shoulders / ankles / and the sound of the wrong song / the sound of mannerisms / walking / shoes / this is the sound of gravity / of stability / of the centre / of earth / this is the sound of your advocate / your relationship / the sound of protection / of a shield / of comfort / of the familiar / this is the sound of your body / and what’s possible / here / the sound of a shift / of adjustment / and this / the sound of seeing / this is what delight sounds like / this is the sound of your voice / sounding off at the sound / at fascination / the sound of learning / of signals / the sound of so much potential / this is the sound of light / and need / this is how it sounds to be tender / this is the sound of your own skin

The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are welcome and will be open until 31 December 2021. Please send up to three poems to

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Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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