Poetry Shelf Monday Poem: Arihia Latham’s ‘Elephant/ your room’


Elephant/ your room


An elephant walks in


I harp on


You pull your hood over your eyes


Why do I think you are going to talk about feelings


I still sit here shivering

In the part of the night like cellophane;

See through and crackly on my eyes.


The punishment was normal you said.

Just a bit of old piping

Quick whack on the legs


No words for it


Tar your mouth shut

A roady and his signs

Quiet guffaws and boots tack.


You’ve got no ears just a talking disorder.


Your last words echo.  I want to leave you.


But is that fair when you are asleep.


Arihia Latham



Arihia Latham is of Ngai Tahu Māori, English, Irish and Dutch descent and lives in Wellington. She is a facilitator, writer, rongoā practitioner and mother. Her writing has featured in Huia short story collections, RNZ, Landfall and Oranui journals.







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