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Photo: Getty Images
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BooksFebruary 24, 2023

The Friday Poem: ‘banana palm’ by Ethan Wait

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

A new poem by Ethan Wait.

banana palm

I whatsapp Grandpa
his banana palm garden
growing in the background
a pile of my boyfriend’s clothes off camera
remind me his life is very different to mine
he is calling from Malaysia
worlds away from central Wellington
where he is
it is illegal to be gay

he doesn’t know
this was the deal
when I came out to my mother
because he is too old to change
she said
well, like father like daughter
and like mother like son
one thing that has changed
is how often I come home
because how can it be home
when part of me cannot come in?

I am saving for Malaysia
I want to visit Grandpa
once more before he dies
I will lie about my boyfriend
lie about my everyday
lie about my everything
to see him one last time
and even as he shows me
his banana palm in bloom
I will think of years to come without him
hoping it was right not to tell him
years I will spend a closed door from my mother
will she open it?
will I?

perhaps one day we will visit the banana palm together
and tell him everything


The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are currently closed.

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