new zealand electronic poetry centre

Michael Harlow

online works


Cassandra’s Daughter

Cassy for short.
We’re discussing the colour green
and why. And how last night
in her dreamtime a wooden horse
appeared. And look – how the wind
puts shivers in the water, shaking
the keys in their locks.
Only five years old, she is
already in love with how
one word wants another
with astonishing ease.
Inside the alphabet now,
inside the lining of a word
she asks me as we sit
on the garden wall under
a plum-coloured sun: why
were you born at seven o’clock
that night? I was a morning baby,
my mum says, the best kind.
I was born with my eyes open,
you see? Would you like to
hear me sing? I can almost dance,
too. Would you? I can hear
that she knows, Priam’s daughter,
all her years to heaven –
that every word was once
a poem, isn’t it?



From Cassandra’s Daughter (Auckland UP, 2005)
Michael Harlow

Last updated 24 March, 2005