The Crop Duster’s Daughter

My head was too large 
for words, and I needed 
(he could see) 
corrective lenses. 
He papered my crib 
with awkward bodies 
flying faster than 
they sound ­– 
the Moth was one, 
Jumbo another. 
When rain on the kennels 
fell on my sleep 
he scrolled with me 
around my walls, 
listened to the din planes made 
when I named them. 
From below my window 
I could not grasp 
the clouds his pastures drank, 
the hard stuff 
that grounded him. 

Before the Quake

In that rift in the chapel 
between Adam 
and the outstretched 
finger of his maker, 
I saw cotton shirts, 
a week’s worth hanging from 
the line next door, 
and our neighbour on a ladder 
cleaning spouting with 
a trowel and a hose. 
From up there 
he could not see 
his child, her palms 
grubby from gunk 
piling up on the lawn. 
She was standing under 
all those sleeves, 
high-fiving his cuffs. 


Originally from Christchurch, Brent Kininmont has lived in Tokyo for more than a decade.