The French think he’s American, 
the Americans, English. 
The English, Irish, Scots and Welsh 
say he sounds Australian. 
Only the Australians 
can tell where he’s from — 
because he says dance 
as in aunts, 
not ants — not 
that he can dance, 
he can’t, not 
even with his aunt. 

Listen to Andrew Johnston read ‘Foxtrot


for Oscar

That’s the boy, she’ll say, 
that’s the boy in you — 
sitting on some bench, or beach, 
gazing into the same 
maddening distance. It’s 
the boy in her, she says, 
that likes the girl in you. Ah, to be 
a person, that’s hard 
enough. Sleep now. Get some sleep, 
that’s the boy. 


Andrew Johnston’s fourth collection of poems, Sol, was published by Victoria University Press in March 2007. He spent 2007 as the Stout Research Fellow at Victoria University, working on a book about New Zealand poetry. ‘Foxtrot’ is about being a New Zealander in Paris, where he normally lives. ‘Bravo’ was first published in BookNotes, the magazine of the New Zealand Book Council, to whom thanks are due.