The Friday Poem: ‘After Lucy Tinakori’s Famous Party’ by Vincent O’Sullivan

New verse by Dunedin writer Vincent O’Sullivan.


After Lucy Tinakori’s Famous Party


I love it that poetry now so possesses the world

it is not possible to play ‘pin the tail’ at a children’s

party without every child being the winner

wherever the tail’s pinned. Space is guaranteed

compliant the way thumb’s fumbling’s inevitably

spot on. Every child comes home

happy, ‘I won just as much as Jane did!’.

There’s as many winning donkeys as smiling

kiddies, what a happy thing to realise so early on!


Only one child slapped (oh, but lightly)

as mum hauls her back to the Humvee

taking her home. Holly, her name, the spoiled

child who refused to play, who shouted, ‘I

know I lost, stop saying I won!’, and twice

on the drive back saw donkeys in paddocks

and tails exactly where she knew they had to be,

and said – slapped for that as well – ‘See? Arse.


Vincent O’Sullivan, 2018

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