Chipped China

How can Brian—
the street bully—
be this delicate giant?

Eleven-year-old Tumema
peered through the slits
of the wooden slats
under Brian’s house.

The same thick fingers
that dragged her by the hair
across the school field

nimbly raised a china cup
to the porcelain doll’s
love-heart lips.

Photo by Colleen Henry

Ria Masae is of Samoan descent, born and raised in Auckland.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Auckland, and a Bachelor of Creative Arts degree (specialising in Creative Writing) from Manukau Institute of Technology.  Her work has been included in anthologies and literary journals, such as Landfall, Blackmail Press, Ika, Otoliths, Snorkel, and Manifesto Aotearoa. Ria was delighted to have her poetry translated into Spanish on the online Mexican literary journal, Círculo de Poesía. Ria won the 2015 New Voices: Emerging Poets Competition, as well as the 2016 Cooney Insurance Short Story Competition.

Her poem ‘Chipped China’ was adapted from her short story ‘Porcelain’, which won the latter competition.

Poem source details >


Ria on NZEPC's Six Pack Sound
Ria on Círculo de Poesía