Wes Lee is a Wellingtonian poet. Her chapbook of short stories Cowboy Genes was published by Grist Books at the University of Huddersfield and launched at the Huddersfield Literature Festival in March 2014. She was the 2010 recipient of The BNZ Katherine Mansfield Literary Award. Most recently she was selected as a finalist in the Troubadour Poetry Prize in London; shortlisted for The Cork Literary Review Poetry Manuscript Prize in Ireland, and The London Magazine’s Short Story Competition 2014. Her poetry has recently appeared in Poetry London, Magma, Riptide, Westerly, The Stony Thursday Book, Going Down Swinging, Landfall, and Dazzled: The University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s Poetry Prize Anthology.
We slept in the barn.
Pinholes through corrugated iron filled my eyes,
shot darts in the morning;
a thousand lightsabers coming in to wake,
the dog already awake
and the ghost of the boar who twenty years ago
crept in, surprised you beside the open fire.
Where my books mildewed
and I heard everything.
The dog sitting bolt upright,
and stirring. The Upanishads foxed
on the rough concrete floor you painted
American Barn Red.
Now I have to really dig for her name –
the suckling, the Grey Lynn couple won at the fair:
she grew so large, you took her off their hands,
kept your promise she would not be made
into ham hocks and bacon. She only escaped
once – got stuck in the mud of the stream
to the east of the farm.
The dog died in his sleep five years
after I left,
his nose bedded
to his hot belly where the kitten had once
In my heart a cockerel crows.