Home Alone 2 (with you)

Christmas time and we’ve been out all night. 
You’ve been talking shit no one understands, 
the way you do when you’re drunk – and 
because English is your second language 
people can’t be sure if you’re super-smart 
and talking over their heads or if 
you’re actually just free-styling your own 
version of the exquisite corpse. 
I think it’s the funniest thing ever. 
Finally we make it home, settle our tired selves 
on the hot mat and turn on the TV. 
It’s Home Alone 2. 
I’m all upbeat and hyped and 
doing little air-punching movements 
‘cause we’re in love and you’re so foreignly 
hot and Home Alone 2 is on and 
there is nothing better I could imagine 
watching right now. 
Kevin McCallister is already going through 
the character-forming section 
of his trials and tribulations by the time 
we tune in – his blonde locks lapping like 
pure shine around his pink exclamation- 
marked face. 
You’re rocking around the room doing things 
that you do – putting on house shorts and 
a singlet, rolling around on the mat, talking 
to yourself. 
The baddies are really just a device to help 
Kevin and his family realise how much they 
mean to one another, I say. His absence 
is what hurts but matters the most. 
It’s a coming of age story. 
It’s a love story. 
The movie goes on and I get really involved – 
I forget you’re there. 
Kevin is over it. He’s lonely to the point of 
despair. He misses his mother. He goes to 
the Rockefeller Christmas tree and prays for 
only one thing, to see her again. And then there 
she is, calling his name. 
And this is when my heart finally knows 
what my mind has for years – that I won’t 
ever find a tree laced bright enough with 
festive lights to guide my own mother through 
dark city streets. There are no streets that 
connect our separate worlds. 
And I turn around and realise you’ve been 
watching me the whole time – and even 
though neither of us has spoken and I’ve 
not started to cry yet you say really quietly 
Mags, do you miss your mother? 
And I am so startled, and so shockingly sad that 
I cry in front of you for the first time. I cry 
on you for what seems hours and 
your white top feels like the fabric of some cradle 
and for a while you let me be a kid again, a kid who 
got lost and can’t seem to find her mother anywhere, 
no matter how hard she looks. 

Snow Chart

It is snowing for the first time in twenty years. 
Millions of iced flowers are falling from the sky.
But love is just another way of looking at the weather, I think. 
We are on my bed and you have a piece of paper and a pen. 
You are drawing a graph to show me how love changes 
over time. 
Two small people with rough biro bodies and big heads 
walk along the x-axis, holding hands. 
They are you and I heading into our own future. 
It can be tough to walk through love, you tell me gravely. 
The y-axis charts the push and swell of your feelings, 
starting low the days after we met at the club and then 
creeping up. Come November and the line rockets skyward. 
You wave the paper at me. See? Did you see that? 
This is how much I love you now. 
I nod. We both look out the window, where the 
snow has covered everything. 

Muddy Heart

You’ll lie down one day on the field behind 
your house and your heart will turn 
to mud. 
Dandelions will push up through the earth, your 
blood mingling to a rich beet coloured soil, 
your bones some kind of ash like your father uses 
around the strawberry plants. 
Clover and pennyroyal will take seed on you. 
You’ll call out in the fading light for your dad, 
who is, after all, just over the fence in the house – but you’ll 
sound like the long grass, the frogs, the dogs herding cattle. 
When he eventually comes looking for you 
however many years later 
there will be only the green flush of land down toward 
the road, the river and a patch of grass 
where he will tend to sit from now on. 


Sugar Magnolia Wilson is from Fern Flat, a valley in the Far North region of New Zealand. She completed her MA in Creative Writing at the IIML in 2012. She has had work published in Minarets and has upcoming work in JAAM 30 and Shenandoah. Sometimes she feels like a jellyfish on the creative tides. Sometimes she feels like a shark. But mostly a jellyfish.


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