Margaret Moores (Massey University)
We sat all one afternoon with our mother, talking in soft voices. A breathy flute floated down the corridor and in the nurse’s station a note: Black tea. Sinking. It was a tumour. Unwanted sentences forced their way onto his tongue. It is too late now to discuss the ways in which I did not do as I was told. That burst of music and flickering light when the sitting room door opened at night. He had nothing he wanted to add to the hum around him until unwanted sentences forced their way onto his tongue. There were several years in which we did not speak. I was never subtle except on that matter. I thought the man had our number and I was afraid to answer the phone. Any man’s voice. I made myself walk alone in the dark up the hill behind the Rose Gardens reciting Yeats and Hopkins. At the top of the hill, I turned and looked back towards the Tinakori Hills. Ashes are detrimental to roses. When I strode quickly no one could catch me. I should have run away or screamed. I love the old grave yard in summer, its picket fences and the sharp scent of broom. It surprises me how the silence reminds me of my father.
Margaret Moores was a bookseller for many years but now works as a publisher’s sales representative. She is currently a student in the Master of Creative Writing programme at Massey University. Her poems have been published in Shot Glass Journal, blackmail press, Meniscus and in Poetry New Zealand Year Books 1 and 2.