New verse by Auckland writer Amanda Kennedy.
When Lorelai broke the curtain rail
I was sitting in the kitchen talking to my sister
When Lorelai broke the curtain rail.
She ran in to announce her crime,
trailed off behind her mother to the scene
awaiting sentencing, her
husky little voice going sorry, sorry, sorry –
shit’s so real when you’re five
Luckily for Lorelai, the news was on TV
my sister standing at the tiny crime scene suddenly could see
people hovering like hornets over houses in the sand
battering battered buildings in a battered land
blood on crumpled clothing
bombs in back gardens
Gazan fish in a Gaza-shaped barrel.
She looked down
at this quivering kid, so full of sorry, and
I think it was one of those moments –
dusk outside, that silky light, starlings gathering in trees to murmur up a storm across West
Auckland skies before the night,
and sudden silence inside her.
A curtain rail was perhaps beyond repair,
but this dark-eyed little kid
with husky voice and yellow trousers,
she was here
And a thousand mums would put a thousand curtain rails up a thousand times
if only they could have their child back to pull a curtain rail down again, right?
So as Gaza boiled in black smoke on screen,
it bought a little girl a little grace
My sister didn’t say as much, but
you could see the words rampage
across her face, going
Swing on the stupid curtains til the end –
Break the rails, kid.
The Spinoff Review of Books is brought to you by Unity Books.
The Spinoff Daily gets you all the days' best reading in one handy package, fresh to your inbox Monday-Friday at 5pm.