Best New Zealand Poems 2002
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Once I discover my father has given
a favourite eighteen-year-old medical student
a silver pin
crafted like an aeroplane
and a cheque for two nights’ accommodation
in Las Vegas
with a handwritten card that says
‘I wish you well in your public life,
wish to support you in your first flight from home,
I feel this cheque is generous,’
and I watch his hand, surprisingly slender,
the gentle hunch of his shoulders,
his quiet self-smile,

I wonder why I’ve never met this girl
who I learn has hair the colour of cigarillo papers,
voice soft as moccasins,
skin the colour of late magnolia,
her clothes the blue that winter shadows dye the ground

and why now I wake myself from this dream
with the belief that the sound of weeping
must come from the empty bedroom
down the hall.


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