Poem – Harry Ricketts


You could try the Family Court
in Wellington on a bright, but crisp,
winter’s morning and be represented
by Alabaster, Loveridge and Moir, the firm
mentioned by Mansfield in that lost novel.

The judge will probably recognise you
from Miss Grimmett’s ballet classes
(the two of you agonised at the back
over your kids’ pliés and pirouettes)
and ask if you mind her presiding.

At this point someone with brain damage
and a serious stammer will seem
to take over your lines while you find yourself
recalling episodes of Perry Mason
in which the chief suspect was never guilty after all.

And when it’s over and you’re free
to rejoin the world of mystery and muddle,
don’t be surprised if, turning
into Lambton Quay, you hear footsteps
echo behind you, and daren’t look back.

Harry Ricketts

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