Tuesday Poem: ‘One Happy Family’ by Kirsten Le Harivel

One Happy Family

In emerald shellsuits the family
divide up the earth
like a maths problem.

Seeds spill out into furrows,
carnation and turquoise.
Sisters giggle when tomato

plants fade, their buds
deflowered. Leader tells them,
do it with love. Brothers

and Sisters chitter-chatter over
fresh yolks and tempura.
Sisters rise to refill rice.

One left her husband and
her children to live in this
plant-pot haven: to sow, transplant,

sow, transplant. Sister sings
about chickens. Her womb
is empty. Leader slaps her cheek.

Last week I was part of a show at BATS called The Exercise Book Live. Basically it was a poetry workshop on stage, and I had a fantastic time. I’ve asked each of my fellow poets from the show to be part of the Tuesday Poem, and hope to feature them during June and July.

Kirsten Le Harivel is currently completing an MA at the Institute of Modern Letters. She writes poetry and her work has been published in Penduline PressBlackmail Press and the 4th Floor Literary JournalShe is also a member of the Conversations Across Borders project, and has just been short-listed for this year’s National Flash Fiction Day competition. I especially like this poem for its undercurrent of threat, cultish imagery, and suggestions of sex and fertility.

For other Tuesday Poems, check out the hub.

2 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem: ‘One Happy Family’ by Kirsten Le Harivel

  1. Whether it is poetry or fiction, they’ll tell you that you should always start with an opening that grabs the reader.
    “In emerald shellsuits the family
    divide up the earth
    like a maths problem.”

    certainly does that. And it makes you smile too. Loved this poem.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s