Francis McWhannel


An abrupt halt
with an exclamation for emphasis
as the small child crosses your path
in pursuit of an over-blown balloon

the softness of his butter-blond hair
and warm scalp beneath
these meeting your hand
extended for your own sake
and his by happenstance

not so his father’s insistence
that he make apology
nor this lingering sensation
of swelling in your throat

as you thumb your glasses
up the bridge of your nose
and continue on your way.



From one side to the other
is no farther

the terraces loaded
with low-lying solidities
of indefinite origin

the point is not to guess

green embankments
muffle no choirs
authorise no scratchings

early yet the day stretches
a little lacklustre
out of practice

you want the simplicity of wool
an honest retreat

no rush to get there.



By Francis McWhannel

is an occasional writer based in Kirikiriroa, Hamilton.