Portrait of the artist as a parent of young children

I’m off
down the alleyway
between the fortress
and the museum

the kids
asleep in the car,
windows open a crack
—it’s alright
I’ve left them the keys

I’ve got things to do:

1. visit an angry poet
aawho sells vitamins

2. see a psychiatrist who can teach me
aarhyme and meter

3. sit in a café
aaand wait for her

4. catch a train to an outer suburb
aain revolt

5. walk the streets with a harmonica
aain my pocket

no time—stuff the rest
of my lines in my mouth,
run back to the kids

an ice-block for each of them,
a loaf of bread, milk
and a cheap bottle
of merlot.


Published in Poetry NZ 42, March 2011.


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