Tuesday Poem: ‘walking on wishbone’ by Kerrin P. Sharpe

walking on wishbone

the fruiterer
young ming and sons
yun and fong
sit on apple boxes
drinking the thin

soup of morning
their jackets
so slim
you can push
rice through

my mother
and her fishbone needle
gather peacock lanterns
blackbird wings
the loose change

of clocks
for gusset linings
knowing they will be
outside a long time

One of my father’s interests is the gold rush in New Zealand. When I was a child, my family and I tramped into the bush to dig over the abandoned sites of old gold mines (I have to say, I did not go willingly!). My father had quite an interest in the Chinese miners who were part of the Otago gold rush, and Kerrin P. Sharpe’s poem brings them to mind.

The poem is from Sharpe’s collection, Three Days in a Wishing Well (2012, VUP). The collection itself feels like a series of wishes–for flight, for understanding of our histories, and for a world of imagination. For me, the first six lines of this poem evoke the rhythm of stitching, as Sharpe’s line breaks rock you back and forth. If you’ve got a thing for a good line break–which I do–then Sharpe’s poetry is one to read.

For other Tuesday Poems check out the hub.


2 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem: ‘walking on wishbone’ by Kerrin P. Sharpe

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