Poetry Shelf Monday Poem: Pippi Jean’s ‘What We Owe to Each Other’

WHAT WE OWE TO EACH OTHER

Is teething at the river mouth. Burrowing down.
Between the dirt and wild things. Frozen breathing, rain,
this place, is smoking from the mountainside.
Is setting bush on fire.
Is suspended by wire pins. Browning alpine sunshine
slunk onto muck. Sky and the sailing moors,
all bright descended pictures,
falling on the roof.
Is passing under cars.
Is passerby. Non-belonging. Beating trails
where the road hitches and pulls from
snow, matted scrubland, country laid
in bird formation. Is burnt-out
with believing. Festering.
Splintered. Usually
self-inflicted.

Pippi Jean

Pippi Jean is seventeen and has yet to decide on a music taste. Her work has appeared in Signals, Starling, Poetry NZ Yearbook, Overcommunicate and Toitoi. Last year she was a finalist in the National Schools Poetry Award.

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