Mary Cresswell


Survivor guilt

our shoulders stuck together
when the snow came
we were sitting in the park
reading newspapers
pretending not to notice

below the bench, your foot
touched mine I pretended
not to notice but was glad
then the south wind stopped

the north wind stopped
the sound of ice chilled
and splintered, falling from windows
twenty floors up sparrows thudded
like hailstones

                          I meant to scream
but was frozen alongside you
our papers stopped rustling
we each stared straight ahead
across the cold white river


The Lesser Fall

spider spider
crawl the night
drag my dreams
where you are not
crawler flyer
plumb-line lower
down upon me
as I sleep
in the forests
of the bright
seams of dreams
I shriek awake
scrape and scrabble
from my face
no more spider
no more dream
going, going
gladly gone



Mary Cresswell is from Los Angeles and lives on New Zealand’s Kapiti Coast. Fish Stories, her collection of ghazals and glosas, will be published by Canterbury University Press in early 2015.