By Helen Heath

The door pushing open, rubs against thick carpet
wakes me
Justine, he says, shhh, ……


In the quiet of plum tree leaves I’m hidden
like a smear of blackbird shit.

The corrugated iron fence flakes dry-blood paint.

Fingering the pale crescent above my knee.


Shh, shhh


The bark is rough.
I am in the eye of a blackbird.
I could live in this tree, eating plums for a week.


Father points his air rifle out the laundry window.
Pop…..a blackbird…..pop…..another.

Photo by drb62. Used under a Creative Commons license.



Helen Heath promotes award-winning books for a top New Zealand publishing house and teaches people how to use social media to promote their business, by day. By night she hangs out on Twitter and blogs about writing, poetry and creativity. She’s been blogging on and off since 1999. She was accepted into the most prestigious creative writing school in New Zealand and completed her MA with Merit in 2009. Her thesis is a book of poetry, which she is currently preparing to approach publishers with. Her poetry has been published in many journals in New Zealand and Australia. Visit her at

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