We are not out of the woods yet
In the Netherlands during the war
the news came from watching
the windmills, sails set to indicate
good news or bad.
Here we shelter in place
in a city street and watch the one o’clock
Ashley Bloomfield show.
We wait for the numbers,
the dip and rise
of probable and confirmed and
the suspected cases who remain suspected
who drag their bodies from one day’s count
into the next, perhaps peering from their window
at the dark and tilted trees.
Meanwhile from our thick and boundless dreams
the scuffle of an unknown beast
rough nose pressed against the pane
checking to see if there has been change
in what was once our living room.
Frankie McMillan 2020
Frankie McMillan is the author of five books, the most recent of which, The Father of Octopus Wrestling and other small fictions, was listed by The Spinoff as one of the 10 best New Zealand fiction books of 2019. Her previous book , My Mother and the Hungarians and other small fictions was long listed for the NZ Ockham Book Awards, 2017. She was awarded the NZSA Peter and Dianne Beatson Fellowship in 2019. Frankie currently teaches at the Hagley Writers’ Institute in Christchurch.