you realise there is no hope
left for teachers when in the
school newsletter it says
we welcome nichola poor
& look forward to working her.

you want there to be no more bell.
you begin to wish for pills for
your children instead of
lunch from a plastic décor box.
you wonder why their paintings
contain less & less
you begin to sound things out
stretching the oh’s ~
vowels start to look like
phone numbers
3 o’clock looks like a wedge of cake
you are rushing to finish
oh there you are tui
by dinah hawken
& then you hear
ella say:
and-yellow and-yellow and jello

& he is
our number 4.

Sonja Yelich was born in Auckland in 1965. She is a first generation New Zealander and lives with her partner and four children in Devonport, Auckland. Her work was published in 2002 by Auckland University Press in the AUP New Poets 2 series which includes the writing of three emerging NZ poets.

Yelich comments: ‘While the ideas in “and-yellow” are true, well sort of, they didn’t actually happen in that order. In fact, they are bits of ideas taken from different days and put together to give a kind of “one take” sort of impression. I like doing that type of writing probably because I do that sort of thinking – here and here and then there. And that’s probably got something to do with the fact that I’ve got four small kids who get around like loose bees – and into the poems.’

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