To the Middle Child Who Died


I have no memory of the torment

that must have consumed the house.

Did I witness it? It seems likely.


Who might you have been?

A friend?

The way I long for sisters, plural.


My sister — it would be like

swimming back into the ocean.



Wes Lee lives in Wellington. Her poetry has appeared in a wide array of literary journals and anthologies, including, Best New Zealand Poems, Poetry London, Westerly, Landfall. Most recently she was awarded the Poetry New Zealand Prize 2019, and shortlisted for The NZSA Laura Solomon Cuba Press Prize 2021. She will be featured poet in the forthcoming Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2022.