Photo: Getty Images; additional design by Tina Tiller
Photo: Getty Images; additional design by Tina Tiller

BooksJanuary 14, 2022

The Friday Poem: oh, the places I won’t go!, by Leah Dodd

Photo: Getty Images; additional design by Tina Tiller
Photo: Getty Images; additional design by Tina Tiller

A new poem by 2021 Biggs Family Poetry Prize winner Leah Dodd.

oh, the places I won’t go!

doctor, I have no brains in my head nor feet in my shoes
my shoes are full of coastal sand and my head
is full of green Goosebumps slime

doctor, I will not be going overseas for an OE
I will not be eating peaches in Portugal
or spoons of Turkish honey

doctor, I am afraid of the waiting place
I want the bright places, the boom
bands, even… the poogle-horns

doctor, are you a real doctor?
doctor, I have googled it
and learned that in fact

you were not
but your overbearing father
wanted you to be

doctor, I am in a slump
have you ever been in a slump?
from what I just learned about your father I think yes

doctor, my belly is full of olives and mushrooms
my fingers are coated in cheap
grease and shame

change is brewing
like a garden potion full of
children’s palm blood and piss

doctor, I was kissed
on moss-dark rocks by a tide pool
at dusk and I don’t even care

you died six years before I was born
but doctor, I am so stuck
can you help me?

 

The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are currently closed and will open again soon.

The Spinoff Review of Books is proudly brought to you by Unity Books, recently named 2020 International Book Store of the Year, London Book Fair, and Creative New Zealand. Visit Unity Books Wellington or Unity Books Auckland online stores today. 

Mad Chapman, Editor
The Spinoff has covered the news that matters in 2021, most recently the delta outbreak. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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