(Photo: Historical Picture Archive/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

The Friday Poem: Gingerbread House, by Evangeline Riddiford Graham

A poem by New York-based Aotearoa poet Evangeline Riddiford Graham.

Gingerbread House

The revolution has arrived.
We get the email. Meanwhile

I am moving deck chairs to make sure
you are comfortable in shade. Our neighbour

says it like a complaint:
We don’t know anyone who is sick

or dead. The taxi driver says hospitals
are raking it in hand over fist. $35,000

a pop for every diagnosis. Meanwhile
you experiment. Sardines in

with the tomato paste. You coax the spines
from their flesh with the forbearance

of a jeweller unwinding a knot of fine
gold chain. Beetroot leaves

in the stock. We don’t always sleep.
You whisper the truth: Gretel comes from

Gretchen, comes from Margaret. Hansel
and Margaret. I wake up crying

two mornings straight. Quiet,
you say, We’re in New Jersey, remember?

You want to have sex.

a man stands over a woman,
pours milk of magnesia on her tear-

gassed face. A circle of people call out
she should open her eyes

and blink. Meanwhile
the neighbours are up early to play

Cornhole. They get the lawn cut Friday,
play on Saturday. We hear it when we wake,

the short, wet thump
of the sandbag hitting the target.


The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are welcome and will be open until the end of April. Please send your poems to chris@christse.co.nz.

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