The Icicles


Every morning I congratulate
the icicles on their severity.
I think they have courage, backbone,
their hard hearts will never give way.

Then around ten or half past,
hearing the steady falling of drops of water
I look up at the eaves. I see
the enactment of the same old winter story
– the icicles weeping away their inborn tears,
and if they only knew it, their identity.

'The Icicles' from The Goose Bath (Vintage, 2006), and in Storms Will Tell: Selected Poems (Bloodaxe, 2008), Janet Frame Literary Trust 2006, 2008, used by permission of The Wylie Agency (UK) Ltd. Recording from the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive 2004.

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