It begins with a declined money card 
follows you home, bright enough 
after all you have a home, a car, running water. 
A cup on the bench, a sachet of tea 
the singing jug, capers, 
emmental cheese. 
In the place where it should be 
the place where milk lives 
there is a space. 
Searching in drawers of reusable gift wrapping, 
emptying pockets of hidden jeans 
worn in thinner days 
pockets of hope, 
you find 2 dong, a dime, a 100 escudos note 
from the Banco de Moçambique. 
There are phone calls you could make 
neighbours even, but you are beyond rescue. 
Rocketed back to the cradle 
milk becomes mother 
and in the place where it should be 
there is a space. 


As in jacket, knitted and soft, 
abandoned in red dust in a dingo’s den 
as in twin fists thumping 
on a wooden lid in a cradle of earth 
as in one eye on Kill Bill 
the other on the breast. 
Matinée from the French 
meaning morning 
from the French 
meaning morning.


Michele Amas first book of poetry After the dance was published by Victoria University Press in 2006. The poems ‘Tea’ and ‘Matinee’ were written on particularly grim Wellington days. To cheer herself up she is currently writing a series of poems based on the exploits of Agent Orange on his tour of duty in Vietnam. You had to have been in Wellington for the winter of 06 to understand.