We must be re-learning the same things
from generation to generation, like how to

write the same stories, conquer and cower
tradition, then rehouse ourselves in it.

Finding ways to re-write a series of endings
bound up in an anthology of same old, same old.

I think of this when I dust the line
of golden metal ducks on the mantel.

So much depends on misplaced trinkets
sitting in their quiet importance around the faded photographs.

My father stands on the pinnacle of a mountain before I was born,
my mother smiles alone in the water, together, they hover apart.

Extraction and consumption, the making of
us, driven to the edge of the precipice.

Two hundred years ago maybe I would have had to go
to a nunnery to discover this on my own,

to lean over the nights, and reach the
end of my tether, then read back again,

on how much of our life depends
on the rupture of our surroundings

or the marriage of one thing
with another.

author photo of Geena Slow

Geena Slow was raised in Arrowtown and now loves rivers more than other bodies of water. She has completed her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and History with a minor in Creative Writing at Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington. After years of working in a bookshop she left to walk the length of the South Island and now wants to go to South America to travel and write. Her work is slowly filtering into the world and has been featured in Starling and Overcom Celebrate. 

Geena comments: 'Rupture is a poem that figures itself out by the end but like a thought that hasn't fully formed, it's hard to talk about. I can say that I started writing it in an English lecture about women writing in the Renaissance. Back then women could only write if they had the time and the mind, in other words, if they were married and wealthy. Womanhood and marriage are two such intense pillars of tradition that everyone relied on. I began to look at marriage through an estranged perspective. So many narratives work towards security and stability, often returning to tradition despite trying to break away from it. So many times we need a union to resolve conflict and be alright in the end. I started to feel a little bittersweet as my parents divorced when I was young. I felt conflicted in myself as I wanted to say something about the sadness of separation but also how the space between being apart and together has a beauty and a power. Then while this is going on in my head there is me cleaning the house in the real world, feeling grateful that I can write about it.' 


​Poem source details >



Starling journal webpage