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)

The Friday Poem: ‘Meryl Streep’ by Louise Wallace

New verse by Wellington writer Louise Wallace.


Meryl Streep




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.




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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