Actress Meryl Streep addresses the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 26, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.      / AFP / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Actress Meryl Streep addresses the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 26, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

BooksAugust 11, 2017

The Friday Poem: ‘Meryl Streep’ by Louise Wallace

Actress Meryl Streep addresses the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 26, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.      / AFP / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Actress Meryl Streep addresses the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 26, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

New verse by Wellington writer Louise Wallace.

 

Meryl Streep

 

1

 

Meryl Streep went nuts at me in the breakfast room, because

I’d taken her table by mistake. Have a lovely day! I wanted

to say as we left, but my husband, a calm and sensible man,

convinced me to take the moral high ground instead. It was

very difficult for me.

 

2

 

The next morning, as we were about to drive off, I saw Meryl

Streep walking towards our car. I groaned without altering

my face. I pretended there was something I desperately needed

in the glove box, but I put down my window when she

tapped. Her eyes were shimmering, seconds away from tears.

I’m so glad I saw you. I wanted to apologise for yesterday. Would

it be all right if I gave you a hug? I looked back at my husband

in the driver’s seat. He gave me a forceful look: Take the high

ground, Louise. So I took the easy option, opened the car door

and got out. Meryl Streep embraced me in the Holiday Inn

car park, my body unyielding like a pool noodle. Her tears

ran down my neck, and I shivered. I raised my arms from

the elbow, my biceps still pinned by her remorse. I could see

far and wide from the high ground. I patted Meryl Streep’s

back, half-strength.

 

From the new collection Bad Things by Louise Wallace (Victoria University Press, $25), which was launched with deserved fanfare this week.


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