Let us praise
the small evasions:
the missed call
the slight sore throat,
the prior engagement;
the short works of fiction
that act like the turn of a key,
the snib of a front door’s fly screen
which mean we can try to forge the silence
that ferries us to the hinterland of the wildest interior.
Emma Neale is the author of six novels, six collections of poetry, and a collection of short stories. Her novel, Billy Bird (2016) was short-listed for the Acorn Prize at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards and long-listed for the Dublin International Literary Award. Emma has received a number of literary fellowships, residencies and awards, including the Lauris Edmond Memorial Award for a Distinguished Contribution to New Zealand Poetry 2020. Her first collection of short stories, The Pink Jumpsuit (Quentin Wilson Publishing, 2021) was long-listed for the Acorn Prize at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. The mother of two sons, Emma lives in Ōtepoti/Dunedin, where she works as a freelance editor.
It’s a delightful poem! I follow Emma Neale on Twitter and I’m glad to have discovered NZ Poetry Shelf as a result. Looking forward to seeing more posts.