I am my mother’s double. I am my mother’s fetch.
after Ann Shelton’s Doublet (After Heavenly Creatures) 2001
Every path I walk has witnessed a bludgeoning. There doesn’t
have to be blood on eucalyptus or a stocking heavy with brick.
The Port Hills are middens of heart-break, bush fire, and war,
after all. Old volcano. Godley Head. Holes in concrete bunkers
for men to shoot through. Sky scarred by gondola wire, earth
ripped through by tunnel. I pretend I cannot see the landscape
shift in the periphery or rearview mirror, but under the moon
I still run from creatures not quite inhuman. I have stockings,
my garden hides loose bricks. It’s all too close. I don’t fear anything
more than what lurks in the places I cannot look at; I was an evil
child. Razor-tongue. Others cowered when my rage destroyed
the toys I loved most. I knew what to say that wouldn’t be forgotten.
I never blinked first. I told my mum she was the negative voice
in my head. I said it like it was the truest thing.
Even now, there is a long white strip that cuts me clean down
the middle. Behind it, there I am, hand full of Mum’s thick,
shaking heart. Things like this don’t happen in Christchurch.
This has never been true.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lily Holloway (they/her) had their first chapbook, a child in that alcove, published in 2021 as a part of AUP New Poets 8. You can read their recent work in Peach Mag, Cordite and Ōrongohau | Best New Zealand Poems, or find a full list of where to read their writing at lilyholloway.co.nz. Lily is currently in their first year of an MFA in Creative Writing at Syracuse University.