Paula Harris

Spin Nov1998

sharing the good stuff

my mother always told me
i had to save my good stuff
keep it for another day

so my prettiest colouring books
went uncoloured
my toys sat on their shelf

her best dresses stayed in plastic
her engagement ring hidden
in its box

what my mother never learned
was that if you save your good stuff for too long
one day there'll be no one to share it with you

First published in Spin 32 (1998)

Paula Harris

About Paula

Paula Harris lives in Aotearoa/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, and was a semi-finalist for the 2020 92Y Discovery Poetry Prize. She was the recipient of a Vermont Studio Center writing residency in 2018.

Her poetry has been published in various journals, including Passages North, Barren, New Ohio Review, SWWIM, Glass, Diode, The Spinoff, Poetry New Zealand Yearbook and Aotearotica. Her essays have been published in The Sun, Hobart, The Spinoff and Headlands: New Stories of Anxiety (Victoria University Press).

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