Dunedin based poet read her highly commended poem ‘A country airing’ at our International Poetry Prize Awards Evening on Thursday 29 November 2018. Read Ruth’s poem below.
A Country Airing
Norwood St. draws her clay shoulder blades inwards,
a concave reaction to our spine tickling feet.
Down in the valley there’s a volley of barking.
Canine obedience classes will soon curtail that.
Portly pigeons perch precariously on fine lines,
their feather light tails, part of this balancing act.
Roll your own pouches, and KFC castoffs clog culverts.
Even the wind refuses to pick them up.
We pause, to catch air, unpack a remembered snack.
Rasping our open palms, her tongue scallops fat carrots inwards.
A distant hollow log reveals itself as a squashed newsprint roll,
a long way from the ODT – Dunedin’s divvy of the alphabet.
At the top, inflated with country air, we stand tall,
before readjusting packs, and reassuring lethargic legs,
it’s all downhill from here.