A full stop. In the middle of a sentence.
Not enough water in the jug for a cup of tea, and
all the milk's run out for good. Fumbling for your
keys in your bag at night. No-one remembered to
switch the light on before they went out.
That time you forgot your coat in a southerly,
called home and no-one was there. Just the hollow
sound of you waiting on the other end. But I've got
news, you thought. And your teeth closed together
with a clink.
The last drops in the bottle - leaving it upside
down, running out for too long and now it's
everywhere, all over the sink and through your
hands as you try to clear it away. The stainless
steel bench looks like it's bleeding. Great.
It's upstairs at a house quietly whispering down
the phone to the taxi man. Please come and take
me home now - I'll wait outside.
Weet-Bix in bed and another friend leaves to see
the world. Frozen-over cold on your car windscreen
on an August morning. You are as slow as the
engine as it shudders to warm up. Not having
enough money for a Memphis Meltdown.
Not being in the right shoes for the right party and
wondering if you even have a nice enough dress in
your wardrobe to wear anyway. Finally leaving for
the day, turning before you shut the front door.
The stony percolator no longer percolating
on the stovetop alone.
© Annabel Hawkins.
Published in This Must Be the Place, Mākaro Press, 2015
Thank you to Mākaro Press and Annabel Hawkins for permission to feature What Heartbreak Felt Like.
Editor: Janis Freegard
Drawn from her blog, Spare Pencils and Scrap Paper, the book allows us a glimpse into a young woman's experiences in the city. Here you'll find thoughtful and readable contemplations on friendship, love and family, with a focus on how life changes - whether through moving house or saying goodbye. It's a collection filled with nostalgia for the recent past, in the way that nineteen seems so long ago when you reach twenty-three. In some ways it's like an assemblage of little stories - fragments of life captured between the leaves of a book like pressed flowers.
I like the way this poem evokes loss without dwelling on the cause of the heartache. We might not know exactly what happened, but we do know how it felt.
Annabel Hawkins is based in Wellington, where she lives, leaves from, and returns to after her travels. She works in media and writes in all forms. While her talents know no bounds, her way with words often leaves others speechless.
Alice Clifford (the designer) lives in Wellington, travels frequently, and tutors design at Massey University. A member of the International Society of Typographic Designers and owner of a small library herself, words are at the forefront of her creative endeavours.
Today's editor, Janis Freegard, lives in Wellington, New Zealand. Her latest publications are a novel, The Year of Falling (Mākaro Press, 2015), and a poetry collection, The Glass Rooster (Auckland University Press, 2015). She blogs at http://janisfreegard.com
You can check out more great poems featured by other Tuesday Poets, using our blog roll to the left of this posting.