Tuesday Poem – The Second Wife, by Chris Tse

The Second Wife

Splintered roots,
new roots and
shadows cast on past lives.

But shadows don’t erase
they just conceal and feed
the knot at the back of his head.

Strings across land and sea
tied to the feet of his first wife,
the new bride poised with scissors.

Chris Tse is a Wellington poet and one of three authors of the joint publication AUP New Poets 4 (Auckland University Press).   Chris’ collection in the book, Sing Joe, is centred around family stories concerning his great grandfather’s migration to New Zealand from China, and his great grandmother who was left behind.  The poem above gives us one peek into this story.  You’ll need to read Sing Joe in its entirety to find out the rest – and it’s well worth the read.

As well as writing, Chris is an editor, actor, musician and occasional filmmaker. He studied English literature and film at Victoria University where he also completed an MA in Creative Writing. In 2009, he won the NZ Chinese Association/Listener short story competition.

Happy Birthday Tuesday Poem

The Tuesday Poem bloggers are celebrating our first birthday this week (thanks to the tireless efforts of Mary McCallum), by writing a collaborative poem.  You can watch it unfold by clicking on the quill above.


  1. […] Fresh Bread by Catherine Fitchett. Spring is Here by Eileen Moeller. Indian Summer by Ross Gillett. The Second Wife by Chris Tse. You Have to Walk Before You Can Fly by Helen Rickerby. Indian Summer […]

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