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Loren Thomas

In the North

I was born in sheepskin rugs.
The hand-me-downs my brother
slept in.
The ones that my dog would one day
sleep on.

The rats burrowed under our weatherboards.
Split placentas like wires in our ceiling.
They slept in the toy box
and my mother’s bed.

I bet they sipped from her rum glass
when we weren’t looking,
or shat in the pantry,
or swallowed mother’s pills,
maybe chewed through the cannabis plants,
might’ve swam through our bicycle spokes.

And I couldn’t tell you their names or too many descriptors
except they were as big as my father’s forearm
and so much larger than my mother’s ability to cope.

Loren Thomas has previously been published in brief, Poetry New ZealandMayhem, Ia and collaboratively alongside essa may ranapiri and Aimee-Jane Anderson-O’Connor in Starling. Loren is also a keen photographer and spends her spare time taking portraits of friends and loved ones.