I was running away from you 
Paekākāriki beach was dark grey, we pounded through the creek 
over the bridge           you were really after me 
as fast as you could go on your ankles 
shattered in that car accident you call 
my car accident           I would say the more you claim it 
the less you allow it to leave you do you want 
               to keep hold of the pain 
and you would say           how would you understand if you’ve never 
had one           and I haven’t as I ran I said 
full tilt full tilt full tilt in rhythm with my 
feet hitting the sand           by now we gasped for every 
breath you were right on my heels I panicked 
turned to push you away I punched at your 
shoulders your chest           I put the heel 
of my hand between your eyebrows and pushed 
as hard as I could and still you caught me grabbed 
my arm my clothes my woollen jersey unravelled as you 
pulled till there was a thin grey thread 
getting longer between us and the faster I ran 
the colder I got 


Hinemoana Baker (Raukawa, Toa, Āti Awa, Kāi Tahu, Pākehā) is a writer, musician and teacher of creative writing. She completed her MA at the Institute of Modern Letters in 2002. She has published two poetry collections, mātuhi | needle (2004) and kōiwi kōiwi | bone bone (2010).