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.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.