an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

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Tarot #07
Tarot #06
Tarot #05
Tarot #04
Tarot #03
Tarot #02
Tarot #01

‘lavender’

though the front door
into to a hazy mist of talk & laughter
/ this is the party /
i am unlike other children.
i am never babysat.

inside is familiar / paintings all over
& a golden cat with a rhythmical wave
& a black stone panther in full snarl
& a cornucopia of books.
this week, i learned cornucopia.
abundance; ramshorn; small fruits.

can i get you anything?
i am a guest here / i clutch lemonade & look brave.
mum fills her wineglass a second time. i keep tally.
everything is numbered.

there is a real cat here somewhere
i want to find / make a circuit
into garden / up steps / through backdoor / down hall
it’s a race! quick! watch shadows for fur but
all are smooth / frank is hiding.
humans too loud.

outside now / on lawn chairs
swinging feet / dusk begins
i am unlike other children.
i am asked questions / i answer
i say i read books & write stories.
they like this & praise.
out of lemonade.

mum is over by the ash tray
foot to foot shifting / crossing uncrossing arms.
dad is unmoving at garden table
leaned forward nodding / someone is saying things right.
both glow golden in dusk / radiate /
another new word / means better than glow.
everything is coloured.

bored now
go to look at paintings in lounge / paintings look back.
bald man, dark eyes / takes up most of wall
& wins staring contest.
i curl up out of his eyeline.
glad i brought a book.
/ animorphs /

distracted!
lost sight of mum & dad!
make a circuit looking.
into garden / up steps / through backdoor / down hall.

a room open / light inside / sound inside.
see mum’s frizzy head
/ relief /
‘mum!’ step inside / dad there too & others
stand looking at the closet / slid open,
strange plants like alien hands hang upside down,
dried / mummified.
room smells heavy / dark.

mum & dad turn to me, faces saying
you shouldn’t be seeing this. i say
‘what’s that?’
‘it’s… lavender,’ says mum, ‘drying lavender.’

i am unlike other children
& i am pretty sure adults don’t smoke
/ lavender /