First Day Out at the Supermarket

I will never forget the redheaded Scot
leaning over me at midnight with a torch
checking for my breath.

Nor the Fijian nurse, her surgical cap
stamped with bright red hibiscus.

A disembodied voice pleading
from behind a curtain: Let me go home.

A woman with a trolley shoots me a glare
and I almost thank her for her impatience,
her ridiculously normal rage.
In the middle of the aisle, as if struck by a moon
too near the earth, I stare upwards — here, there,
everywhere slowly,
at colour that seems to sing.

Nothing is the same for at least a couple of days.

Wes Lee


Wes Lee lives in New Zealand. She has won a number of awards for her writing. Most recently she was selected as a finalist for the Sarah Broom Poetry Prize 2018, and awarded the Poetry New Zealand Prize 2019 (Massey University Press). Her latest poetry collection is By the Lapels (Steele Roberts Aotearoa 2019).

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