More Stories from P


Our nanny who used to own 
the shop says in a house 
called The Lodge, you know
the big place on the corner,
three women went mad there; 
one hung herself and then 
haunted the others; one 
found naked behind the
woodpile, whimpering.
But The Poet’s grand-daughter
(yes, The Poet) she was fine,
they got on like a house on fire.

A rich man from town,
well, his wife had an affair
with a local farmer so he
moved out here to put a 
stop to it. Shona shrugged,
“They kept on.” The husband 
died and left everything 
to the Catholics. That’s why
we meet nuns, soft-eyed, 
watching the sunset. They 
holiday at the husband’s house.

Circular. A local man whose
wife is the subject of rumour,
he’s been working at that house
lately. At his own house, when
we walk by, a small boy calls
out, “Where are you going?
Can I come too?”


A First Walk


Because the summer is poor
the gardens are lush. Gerberas, 
geraniums, double petunias
day lilies, dahlias

In the calm early Sunday
we meet a girl dancing in pink.
Her mother wants her up the path
but she twirls and prances instead

Further on, council daisies
chorus us from rocky ground

Along the parade a boy on his bike
slips off the path to let us by,
clips his father’s car. This man with 
too much muscle and not enough 
shorts, he shouts: ‘Do you have to 
fucking wreck everything I’ve got’

By the time I’m ready to speak
we’re too far away, turning up
from the sea, hurrying home to visitors



Jane Blaikie lives in Paekakariki where she works as a contract writer and editor.