Catherine Marsden (2009)

[Southern Laughter Lodge (Queenstown)]

Born in a Backpackers

One might be inclined to note that Queenstown has converted its small maternity hospital to cheap, temporary accommodation for those who are passing through. Interesting ...

I was born in that backpackers, mate.
spat out between the thighs of a 16 year old
who’d been given the mushroom treatment
- kept in the dark and fed shit, you get me?

they call it “The Black Sheep”
which suits me fine.
I spend my time with my rhymes,
worry little about the reasons - ha.

from those tiny pink fingers and wide staring blues
I emerged, PTO ( if you don’t mind),
as a twenty-something with thirty-something moves under her belt.
where I might have been in-between is of no consequence, and huge interest.

sometimes I go back
to torture myself with that strange beginning.
look over that small building on excess grass
think about grazing there for a few days…

I never do, though. My way is to move on with those odd glances back.
so I won’t come here with my husband, children or, heaven forbid, grandchildren.
I hold that home is where the rump rests,
pack up, and carry on my way.

© Catherine Marsden

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