Mary Cresswell



We climbed ungloved, hand over hand,
the sour-needle pines
expecting to see the glacier from here.

We heard the clock strike (several times),
and the red-coated oompah band
belted out brass on the miniature pier.

Cold, cold, it was cold. The air was clear
as the sharp, untouchable snowline
at the next country over, that sealed-off land

which last week officially abolished time
in favour of space: It’s easier
to get a grip on-and, they said, to understand.



Mary Cresswell is a Wellington poet and one of the co-authors of Millionaire’s Shortbread (University of Otago, 2003). Her work appears in a variety of print and online journals, and she is very happy to appear (for the first time) in Snorkel. Of Apex, Cresswell writes: “This poem is in a rhyming, nonce form and took a long time to get there. I think formal poetry—in the very widest sense of using a repeating element of any sort—is overdue for revival and experimentation. I love working with it and am doing so more and more.”