A Poem for National Poetry Day

Happy Poetry Day!  Here’s a poem I wrote after Rhian Gallagher’s excellent reading at Massey University last July.

The Lift
(for Anna Jackson)


it had been one of those days
that was part of one of those weeks, those months
where people seemed angry
& I felt like the last runner in the relay race
taking the blame for not getting the baton
over the finish line fast enough
everyone scolding
I was worn down by it, diminished
& to top it off, the bus sailed past without seeing me
and I was late for the reading, another failure

so when Anna offered me a lift home
I could have cried
because it was the first nice thing
that had happened that day
so much bigger than a ride in a car
it was all about standing alone
in a big grey city
and somebody suddenly
handing you marigolds


There are poetry events all around the country for National Poetry Day and if you’re in Whanganui tomorrow, it would be great to see you at the Sarjeant.


  1. […] A nice thing happened at the end of last year – a few lines from one of my poems was included in an excellent prize-winning essay by Padmasayee Papineni, a Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Acute Medicine in London. Dr Papineni’s essay was published in The Lancet and is about compassion in treating tuberculosis. Feeling very honoured to have made a tiny contribution. The poem is The Lift. […]

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