mire of hara


the kitchen is a cesspit of tikanga breaches / siri says the
problem is tijuana / potty on the kitchen floor / only room
without carpet / marinades til we notice / but when a
weetbix bite lands on the floor / all but the white man will
eat it

the lounge is a bog of disgrace / if we call the coffee
table a footstool / we’re in the clear / except for the food
on the footstool / kai belongs on a coffee table / we’d use
the tēpu but it’s covered in laundry / kindly folded by one
who doesn’t know better / whereas i know i flounder

the bathroom is a fen of paru / sieve and funnel for bath
toys / the kitchen creeps outwards / tamariki fill up drink
bottles at this lower sink / empty mugs clutter the vanity /
if we put toothbrushes in the mugs / we could call them
ipu and paint the town red

the whare is a mire of hara / a party for hair ties and nail
scissors / if the house were larger / if only we had a
garage / perhaps there would be wāhi enough / for us all
to live tika / perhaps when the kids grow up / they can
tow the line / perhaps when they leave home / i can
chase out the fish


Ko Ngāti Pāhauwera, Ngāti Rakaipaaka, Ngāti Kahungunu ngā iwi. Miriama Gemmell‘s poetry has been published in Te Whē, Sweet Mammalian, Wasafiri Magazine, Atua Wahine and other places.