The Christchurch Test

Around the empty caskets her father 
piled trunks, till that crossing was a buried 
thought. In the breathing room before another 
carriage of belongings he wrote of 
Anchorage, the hours stowing sails below 
deck with her brother. He never saw clouds 
this swift, rushing through a haka – his England 
eclipsed by shadows. Through the bodies of 
water the crowd appears to be sailing. 
It carries her back to the start at the end 
of her gangway, to her father not budging, 
maybe hoping the weather would change 
her mind. About him all those trunks were 
fastened. To say nothing of what’s inside. 

The Labours

The car is at the garage. 
Still, she is slayed 
when he flies back 
every evening 
on a ten speed. 
Down the straight from 
the roundabout after 
his shift, he risks 
signals (Greers, Ilam, 
Clyde) to shave seconds 
from that long breath 
to the start of Bealey 
where an open window keeps 
her bed lamp on, 
his body is spent, 
salted with water. 
On her dresser he places 
leg clips, on the sill 
her remote. 
From across the city 
drones a Hercules 
warming up for the ice. 


Brent Kininmont lives in Tokyo. Long before moving to the Kanto Plain, he lived on the Canterbury Plains.