Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday Poem: "Nerves" by Sarah Jane Barnett



The bridge has been
washed out,


the river bank
camouflaged with debris.

Last Waitangi Day
I saw a soldier buried

in the crowd -
his face gave nothing away.

Your lips sticky after kai
teach me a new language,

ka mate ahau
I te aroha e.

That night I dream
my family has arrived

for Christmas,
with the military police.

Arms cuffed
I am pulled from our bed,

held in an austere room
and made to explain

my position.
  

This poem originally appeared in Deep South '07.

Sarah Jane Barnett is a writer, tutor and doctoral student who lives in Wellington. Her work has appeared in a range of literary journals including Landfall and Sport, and on the e-zines Cordite, Snorkel and Turbine. Her poem, “The Drop Distance”, was selected for Best New Zealand Poems 2007.

Sarah is currently completing a creative writing PhD in the field of ecopoetics. You can find more of her work at http://theredroom.org.

2 comments:

  1. A powerful poem with a sinister undertone.

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  2. Such powerful images in Sarah's poem. It is quite striking. The subtle insertion of Christmas niggles and disconcerts the reader. Loved it. Thanks for posting and merry christmas!

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