the stars are the tongues of their shoes
                                         i.m. marc and eddy verbessem deaf twins 
                                         who chose death over blindness

the stars are the tongues of their shoes
and guide marc and eddy to a pasture
where they work as cobblers
and make sanctuary slippers
from the hair of premature calves
for angels only lent the silence
suits them their soft faced hammers
do the talking their stitches are never
angry though they use cross and
long armed cross they choose
the winnowing fork  and line the threshing floor
with the leather of lamb
to rescue and repair
6,000,000 jewish shoes
so they still walk
their never forgotten song




because the horse expected nothing

because the horse
expected nothing
he was never spared
          Flanders        Somme        Passchendaele

because the horse
never objected
he never bothered
          flies        mud        snow

because the horse
never wore hair extensions
he never groomed
          the guns        the maps        the strategies

because the horse
never saw a cenotaph
he never knew the soldiers
          inside        his stone        coat




when the train stole us

our brother was still born
he was never the light foot
of snow but the dark cry
of rolling stock frankfurt
hamburg nedland lloyd

our suitcases grew the teeth
of an ss bank account
our hair became rope

even our shoes were forced
to dig mass graves
before they were shot

the stars folded our jackets
after we fell
the sound was yellow






[Kerrin is a poet and teacher of creative writing. She completed the Victoria University Original Composition Programme taught by Bill Manhire in 1976. Her poems have appeared in many journals including Hue & Cry, JAAM, The Listener, Poetry NZ, Sport, Takahe, Turbine, The London Grip, Snorkel and The Press, Best NZ Poems 08, 09, 10 and 12, and The Best of the Best New Zealand Poems. In 2008 she was awarded the New Zealand Post Creative Writing Teachers’ award from the Institute of Modern Letters. Her debut poetry collection three days in a wishing well was published by Victoria University Press in late 2012. A selection of her poems appeared in Oxford Poets 2013 published by Carcanet Press. Three poems were published in Blackbox Manifold 10. Kerrin’s second collection of poetry, there’s a medical name for this,was published by Victoria University Press in 2014.]

Copyright © 2014 by Kerrin P. Sharpe, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.