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Photography: Sarah Reed
Holly Edgecombe

Holly Edgecome  studied at The Correspondence School for most of her secondary schooling & completed the first two modules of a creative writing course at Whitireia last year. (Writing poetry and short stories). She lives in Waihi with her parents. She has always loved the sea and the beach. Holly has always loved language and has been writing poetry since she was about 14 yrs old.

the painter next door

The roof next door is being painted
tooff tooff tooff
the painter
a woman, in her middle years
sprays the metal ridges with long even strokes
and thinks about her husband
lying in his hospital bed
mans’ miraculous machines
breathing for him
tooff tooff tooff 
she wants to succeed, but mainly for him
each stroke willing him on.

A clear plastic hose snakes down the wall
from the airless spray gun
to the bucket on the ground below
It sucks up the paint
an artery of soft pliable red
and delivers it to the roof
with loving strokes.

The roof is metamorphosing
from a dull faded Granny Smith green
to a shiny Pacific Rose red
the painter climbs down
her face and hands spattered
with tiny blood-like specks
I must look just like Les
after the accident she thinks
wiping her face on a cloth. 

She picks up her cellphone
resting on the step
and rings the familiar number
“Any change today?” she asks.

a visit from my grandfather

Pain has claimed my grandfather’s face
he comes inside slowly, taking great care

performing an intricate pattern of steps
two forward / one back / step to the side / grab the wall.

My grandfather’s partner is four pronged and slim
gone is the finely carved Kaumatua’s stick

replaced by this - functional hospital version
dressed for concealment in basic black.

Eyes grimly focused straight ahead he makes his way
to his favourite chair by the wall in the lounge.

And there he sits, his mana restored
the head of our family

surveying the world
from his cast iron railway throne.

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