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Kate Thompson

I was born with a little bit of jaundice

I was born with a little bit of jaundice
and white hair that curled like Marilyn’s.
Now, it’s darkened with all the banana-halves
I’ve forgotten to eat and left on the bench.
I remember being shorter than a sunflower,
when you sent me to bed before the sun was
even ready to put on pyjamas. Every
night, I begged for stories from when you were small.
You told me about when you ate the stem of
a lily and your belly wasn’t
very happy with you. I giggled at how
silly little you sounded.

I don’t show my nicotine-teeth anymore and your
homemade lemon honey doesn’t taste as tart.
But it all looks the same swirling in a bowl. You still
try to convince me rice tastes better soaked in
turmeric water. And you plant marigolds
to ward off the snails, but I like
crushing them on the driveway.

Kate Thompson has just finished her BA/LLB degree at Victoria University of Wellington and this year will be undertaking a BA honours degree in Criminology at Auckland University. She has previously been published in the New Zealand Poetry Society Anthology 2011, 2015 and 2016.