Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

BooksJune 19, 2020

The Friday Poem: Subject Permanence by Hadassah Grace

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

A new poem by Auckland-based writer and performer Hadassah Grace.


Subject Permanence


in quarantine mirrors reminded us we exist

with eyes closed, skin is still

cotton candy in a puddle

bones, watercolour and damp paper

arms and teeth are curtains on fire


now every gleaming shop window

is a gleaning mother

did you wash your hair?

are you standing up straight?

you’re talking to yourself again


without clothes we are 10 metres tall

small enough to hide in the fibres of the carpet

the pinch of bra straps keeps heads

from flying free, balloons to choke dolphins


this is why hermit crabs wear shells

would you carry your house if you could? but

we suppose the walk to work

stops the walls from shrinking

we have everything we need here

in these homes

in the palms of our hands


just now the world is a fist

scared to uncurl in case the fingers drift away

Keep going!