M. carried in three ceramic mallards
wrapped in his jersey, their green faces
rigid and unblinking
on the shelf of his arms.
They were as significant as anything else
that makes it up the hill and through the door
surplus to the weight of our own bodies,
having risked abandonment
to the thick bank of bush
where heavy objects
rot against tree trunks.
There was the day a tray of eggs
had been smashed against the pavement,
their entrails hardened
by the afternoon heat.
The mallards decreased in size
as if caught between blinks
leaving the view of a pond.
M. had found them at the Sally’s
and wanted them for their kitsch;
he pictured hanging them in the lounge above the TV.
We must be looking for better versions of ourselves.
I’ve been clicking ‘Buy Now’
on coats I have no intention of paying for
to get as close as I can to feeling new
without the burden of it.
The mallards never made it to the wall.
We left them leaning against the window
looking out to the cabbage trees
that beat against the southerlies,
each spine threatening its hold with flight.
Bronte Heron is a poet and library assistant currently living in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Aotearoa.