Poem – Kate Camp

Personal effects

I went to the Kilbirnie Watchtower to pick up your personal
effects from a policeman with your name.
The faint sun made me sweat a little in the car
in my cream rabbit-fur jacket you’ve never seen.
The policeman was absent so a woman not in uniform
gave me the brown envelope, the size of a foot,
and I held it against my stomach, in the fur,
as I walked back out to the car. And yeah, I cried
on the way home, and tried hard not to have an accident.

And there wasn’t much in it:
a wallet, and $3.15 in change, and a white cigarette lighter.
It was all there, as they’d promised, and the lighter was still going strong,
good as new, and the wallet from Kingston Leather was soft
and moulded like someone made a cast of your pocket,
and there were cards in there, a tiny stack of cards, so I laid
them out in a line on the table and didn’t really try to divine
anything from them.

There was a student ID, community services card and a ten-trip
bus ticket, three sections, with one clip left on it.
There were copy cards, national and city library cards
and phone cards and one card read IRIDOLOGY.
EYES SHOW OUR ENTIRE BODY’S HEALTH.
And I looked to see which sector of the iris denoted irony
and which despair but the closest I could find was Reality Coping
and Chest Cavity, and then, just as I was about to put the cards away,
I saw the little key that showed the location of the heart –
according to iridology – right in close to the pupil.

Kate Camp

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Poem
Search the archive
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
Filter by Categories
Architecture
Art
Autobiography
Awards
Biography
Byline
Children
Comment
Contents
ebooks
Economics
Editorial
Education
Essays
Extract
Fiction
Gender
Graphic novel
Health
History
Imprints
Language
Lecture
Letters
Letters
Literature
Māori
Media
Memoir
Music
Natural History
Non-fiction
Obituaries
Opinion
Pacific
Photography
Plays
Poem
Poetry
Politics & Law
Psychology
Religion
Review
Science
Short stories
Sociology
Sport
Subscribers only
War
YA Reviewers
Young adults
Recent issues: subscriber-only access

Subscribe to NZ Books to access the issues above

Search by category

See more