The Friday Poem: ‘The name in the freezer’ by Elizabeth Smither

New verse by New Plymouth writer Elizabeth Smither.

 

The name in the freezer

Someone we both disliked: you wrote

his name on a slip of paper,

folded it and inserted it in the freezer

 

under a tray of ice cubes, next to

a frozen chicken, frozen vegetables

a casserole sectioned into cartons.

 

You’d read about it. Nothing too serious

would happen. Perhaps he’d lose his job

or his dog would need taking to the vet.

 

The dog would recover, the bill be huge.

His wife might flirt with someone at a party

and be noticed: notice was a big part of it.

 

When nothing happened after six months

his dog had puppies, he got promoted

we took out the paper, ice-encrusted

 

and brushed it against our jerseys.

Soft powder fell into the sink. You said

you’d take it with you when you went to England

 

as if it would be more potent there.

A huge fridge near an Aga

stuffed with grouse and pheasants and wild boar.


from Night Horse, a new collection of poems by Elizabeth Smither (Auckland University Press, $25) available at Unity Books.

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