The hometown at nighttime smells like resin
and water and the flicking off of light switches,
of crickets and motorway noise, of cold
that slips about your neck
like a wet towel. Winged things scatter
in the grass; houses leak onto the street:
jigsaw pieces of porches and timber
weatherboards painted white. Lamplight,
goodnight stories, a clatter of voices
like the scraping of a plate.
The trees stand solitary. Clouds wring
the odd star out of the dark. We’re
walking on nothing. We’re the road, unlined.
Pippi Jean is nineteen and studies Communicationsin Wellington. She has been published in Landfall, Starling, Overcommunicate, takahē, Mayhem, Oscen, NZ Poetry Shelf, Flash Frontier, NZPS ‘a fine line’ Magazine, Milly Magazine, Salient, Signals, Toitoi and Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2021. She was the recipient of an AIMES Emerging Talent Arts Award 2020 for Creative Writing and was selected for publication in Write The World International Review 2020. Additionally, she was a finalist in the National Schools Poetry Award 2019. Jean comments: 'I wrote this poem about walking down the street I grew up on, in Bayswater, Auckland. I think of it less as a poem and more of a photograph.'
'Maia, in July, on the steps between the flats', Starling 13
'What we owe to each other', NZ Poetry Shelf