Zarah Butcher-McGunnigle



Do you want to lose all three of us? It might be easier, he said. The house was never his, which bothered him, and now he doesn’t live here. He stole the sieve, now we eat food with a little added water. The magazine he subscribes to still comes to our house. A train magazine, called “Back Track”. I walk and deliver it to his mail box. Even though he said I wasn’t to come near. Him or his house again. Leaves repeat themselves but it is safe. Forget what I said yesterday. Something looks like a toy, but it’s actually real. He wouldn’t put my picture on the wall because it didn’t have a frame. Is it another twenty years of stone-swallowing. I can’t, and I have a very good memory.


Impression of a Hill

Now I have chosen I can’t go back. Frozen discrepancy between me and. Quickly I walk across a field. If there’s a ball, it will hit me. The foot of the feat. Books don’t know how you feel. I snowed for years. It happens so fast it doesn’t feel like a choice. An impression of a hill. I paid the fear and I waited. I knew because I saw it in a movie, and overheard a conversation. Nails of plurality. A fern garden was promised, but only after the event. The wallpaper like a floral disease. The first five years are very important. I sat on the porch, not saying anything. An our. But nobody came. For a long time, because it had been a long time.



It is raining, which means we can’t leave the house. The other children sing, I just mouth the words. A glasses cabinet needs to be polished. Where did this come from? First, a gift. Then something which can’t be thrown away. We are alike until I close my eyes. A cavity, large enough to enter. I could get used to this, just listening. Some people suggest things, who are these people? Nobody changes the light bulbs. And we are too dangerous for candles. Even though, at night, a burglar might peer in. The curtains in my room are never drawn. How else can I find my own ideas?



Zarah Butcher-McGunnigle has just turned 20. She studies English and Psychology at the University of Auckland. Her poems have been published in Turbine, Poetry NZ, and Takahe, and are forthcoming in Landfall, brief, and The International Literary Quarterly.