Marisa Cappetta


turning the seasons with the dead

I watch the wild green
milk-filled wheat corn
and wait for the precise
gold of ripe

the night before harvest
my ancestor women
slip into bed either side
and press a small scythe
into my palm
and close
fingers around the crescent
moon-stone of it

they murmur a reaper’s song
of simple lyric
and many melisma

on the longest night
my ancestors interlock
bones in their barrow
mounds and keen a rhythm
for the grindstone

into the well-worn hollow
they drizzle water and add
one precious spoonful of salt



Marisa was born in Rome, raised in the USA and migrated to Australia in 1974. She moved to New Zealand in 2003 where she continues to live and write. She has been published in Crest to Crest Anthology of Canterbury Poets, Takahē, The Press, InterlitQ, Enamel, Shot Glass Journal, Voiceprints, Snorkel and Turbine. She has been a guest reader for the Canterbury Poets’ Collective, Gap Filler and the launch of Phantom Bill Stickers in Christchurch. She is on the boards of Takahē and the Canterbury Poets’ Collective. She attended the Hagley Writers’ Institute in 2011.