Paul Gallagher

Roasting Plantain (Poem for Sosephina)

When confronted with the wisdom of the years
Even bitter fruits become moreish in palm oil.
There is no battle here between past and present, youth knows
To turn sweating pig meat and banana leaves on hot stones.
Grey locks washed, softened in coconut milk will watch:
Blushing cheeks stitched by time to seams of wrinkled satin.
An old wedding photograph shows even Hibiscus blooms
And smiles will suffer the browning lassitude of age.
Though the frame still shines with the gilded edge of marriage,
Dementia masks gestures of memories best left forgotten.



By Paul Gallagher

is a poet, writer and journalist based in Wellington. His work explores the discourse between history and memory. He enjoys the fact that the word ‘awkward’ is very awkward. He believes that a cup of tea will make even a bleak situation better. He’s facing a year filled with long haul flights, and would gladly receive any recommendations for reading. He once had a poem included in a collection of work by schoolchildren, and it was terrible.