Paula Harris

Poetrynz26

after dropping the fridge on andrew's toe while we were moving house

later that night
he cringed in pain
and i said
- does it hurt
and he said
- yes
so i said
- go to the doctor
and he said
- no, it'll be okay

the next night
he cringed in pain
and i said
- does it hurt
and he said
- yes
so i said
- go to the doctor
and he said
- no, it'll be okay

a month later
he cringed in pain
and i said
- does it hurt
and he said
- yes
so i said
- go to the doctor
and he said
- no, it'll be okay

three months later
he cringed in pain
and i said
- does it still hurt
and he said
- yes
so i said
- go to the doctor
and he said
- no, it'll be okay

after two more months
he cringed in pain
and i said
- does it still hurt
and he said
- yes
so i said
- go to the doctor
and he said
- no, it'll be okay

nine months after i dropped
the fridge on andrew's toe
while we were moving house
he hadn't said anything
in a while
so i kicked him in the toe
and said
- how's your foot feeling?
and he said
- fine. why?

First published in Poetry New Zealand (2003)

Paula Harris

About Paula

Paula Harris lives in New Zealand, where she writes and sleeps a lot, because that's what depression makes you do. She won the 2018 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize and the 2017 Lilian Ida Smith Award.

Her poetry has been published in various journals, including Berfrois, Queen Mob's Teahouse, Barren, SWWIM, Glass, Diode, The Spinoff, Poetry New Zealand Yearbook and Landfall. Her essays have been published in The Spinoff and Headlands: New Stories of Anxiety (Victoria University Press).

She is extremely fond of dark chocolate, shoes and hoarding fabric.