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BooksMarch 20, 2020

The Friday Poem: There is no easy way by Kate Camp

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A poem by Wellington writer Kate Camp.


There is no easy way


This is the way you will travel through the world

on feet, on arrangements of bones and body parts.


You will be standing on top of your shoes.

You will be walking inside the lining of your coat

and your fingers will poke through the frayed pocket lining.


Around the islands of your back teeth, rich with metals,

will be the liquids that you drink, disappearing down your throat.


There will be air inside you, an egg of it

inside your mouth, and a clam of it.


When you lie in the dark you will be nothing but a clock

spending your limited supply of minutes on minutes.

You will always be inside things, be they rooms, buildings,

or atmospheres, because there is no outside.


And I will tell you something, you will have animals inside you.

Two dark, dark bears, sleeping in a reek of their own urine.

Swans caught with their wings open like fountains.

And there will be raccoons, black eyes full of night time.

They feed on rubbish when they can’t find a home in the woods.


‘There is no easy way’ is from Snow White’s Coffin by Kate Camp (VUP, 2013).

The Friday Poem is edited by Ashleigh Young. Submissions are welcome at

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