The red pearl

I understood about the mouse. I hadn’t 
thought it through, just wanted a pet. 

On the way home he escaped in a shop. 
The grocer caught him, brought him back 

then Mum was mad. When Dad came home 
he was furious. You’d think 

I’d single handedly reintroduced 
the Black Plague. I answered back, got a slap. 

It ended at the chopping block, tomahawk 
in one hand, mouse in the other 

and Dad standing over, making me do it 
myself. I felt the warm brown shaking 

then it was done. One body, one head 
one perfect red pearl at the nostril. 


Listen to Mercedes Webb-Pullman read ‘The red pearl’


Mercedes Webb-Pullman has just completed work on her MA in Creative Writing at the IIML. Her poem, ‘The Red Pearl’, comes from this folio, about growing up in New Zealand in the 1960’s.