Poetry Shelf Monday Poem; Lynn Davidson’s ‘Lineage’


I was nine months pregnant, and waiting, when the man in the

Taranaki airport shop snapped this isn’t a library you know,

and when I turned my great belly full of fingernails and teeth-in-bud

towards him he asked (hotly) if I was actually going to buy anything.

The baby made exclamation marks with its soft bones,

glared with its wide open eyes – two Os.  No I said I won’t buy

my news from you. Above the town, Mount Taranaki blazed red and then

in the quick cold dusk, the plane with my parents in, touched down.

That night the child swung from its treehouse to the tree

and climbed through me to my mother’s hands and with its

persimmon tongue brought us stories (both good and terrible)

from this world, and the other one.

Lynn Davidson

Lynn Davidson’s latest poetry collection Islander is published by Shearsman Books and Victoria University Press. She had a Hawthornden Fellowship in 2013 and a Bothy Project Residency at Inshriach Bothy in the Cairngorms in 2016.  In 2011 she was Visiting Artist at Massey University. She won the Poetry New Zealand Poetry Award, 2020 and is the 2021 Randell Cottage Writer in Residence. Lynn has a doctorate in creative writing and teaches creative writing. She recently returned to New Zealand after four years living and writing in Edinburgh. 


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