BooksMade possible by

The Friday Poem is about two curious encounters with Meryl Streep

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.


The Spinoff Review of Books is brought to you by 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.