Little Song

The reverse of your aspect.
Your very step back.
This and listen,
this and glisten

order, ardour
ordure, verdure

We maze around
and shuttle and miss.
All this for your kiss. The cache is
the surprise of your lashes.

Anna Smaill was born in Auckland in 1979 and studied Music at Canterbury University, English at the University of Auckland, and Creative Writing at Victoria University. Her writing has appeared in The New Zealand ListenerStaple, Sport, Trout, Booknotes and Best New Zealand Poems 2002. Her first collection, The Violinist in Spring, was published in 2005 by Victoria University Press. She spent the last two years in Tokyo, and will spend the next three working on a PhD in London.

Smaill comments: ‘This poem was written while standing outside the Domestic Terminal of Auckland Airport and, like “Poem” which was included on this site in 2002, first came into my head as an insistent series of rhythms and paired words which demanded to be said aloud. I had just said goodbye to somebody, and was standing outside with the full sadness of missing that person, but also with the odd dark pleasure of that sadness and missing. To me the rhymes felt like a mix of apt sweetness and the bite of delay. The title came from the playfulness of that first sing-song rhythm, but it is really, though light and part-riddle, a love poem.’

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