Poem: Paula Harris

Illo for Paula Harris's poem.

there is a forest, there are trees, and somewhere amongst that is a drunk suicidal woman

the men shake their heads, wag their fingers
tell her off for getting drunk

how could she? how could she?
twenty years sober thrown away
just to stop herself from taking action
and killing herself

how pathetic, how fucking pathetic
she is to have gotten drunk

she wonders if somehow she is missing the point
how they can’t see the point
why she threw it all away
Paula Harris lives in New Zealand, where she writes poems and sleeps in a lot, because that’s what depression makes you do. She won the Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize and the 2017 Lilian Ida Smith Award, and has been published in various New Zealand and Australian journals, including Poetry NZ Yearbook, Snorkel, takahē, Landfall, Broadsheet and The Spinoff. She is extremely fond of dark chocolate, shoes and hoarding fabric. She tweets randomly at @paulaoffkilter.

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