Kerrin P Sharpe

just like heaven

the horse in a hammock
held by steel wheels and hooks
seems to orbit
the operating room

ropes share the force and distance
of his fractured cannon bone

the horse with no
medical history
has such faith in the surgeon

the anaesthetist
can hardly breathe himself

when he returns
to the racecourse the horse
cannot stop winning

the sick and the dying
stroke the horse they walk
in his hooves they climb

back in their saddles

at Rapaki they’re blessing

at Rapaki they’re blessing
the new waka with water
made holy by Tangaroa
only He knows
what will happen

the godwits reverse
their feather boats and fly home
the sea-horse in the rock -pool
rides to the surface
the kina surges and slides
the chitin closes her door

deep under the streets
concrete drainage pipes
porcelain sewers
already crack the darkness
in all the vermin

elsewhere a poet has
just written a blessing
when the cliff crushes
the old man picking
strawberries to decorate
his grand-daughter’s birthday cake

while on the 5th now ground floor
of a building a painter
now surgeon slips his new Swiss
army knife into a femur
and saves a young boy

then the statue of Mary
in the Cathedral
of the Blessed Sacrament
turns from the broken marble
altar and faces Otautahi
like a blessing

Kerrin P. Sharpe completed Bill Manhire’s Original Composition class at University of Wellington in 1976. She was a tutor at the Hagley Writers’ Institute for 7 years and now supervises students. She has been published widely, including in Best New Zealand Poems 08,09 and 2010, Turbine 07, 09 and 10, Snorkel, Bravado, Takahe, NZ Listener, Poetry NZ, Junctures, Sport and The Press. In 2008, she was awarded the New Zealand Post Creative Writing Teacher’s Award by the International Institute of Modern Letters. Her first collection of poems Three Days in a Wishing Well was published by Victoria University Press in September, 2012 followed by There’s a Medical Name for This and Rabbit, Rabbit. Kerrin has had poems in the Best of the Best NZ Poems and was selected for Oxford Poets 2013: An Anthology.