blackmail press 31  Marginalization
Holly Edgecombe
New Zealand

Marginalization - Pauline Canlas Wu
Holly Edgecombe I was born in Tauranga in 1982. My parents were made aware in the following year that I had been born with some sort of neuro-muscular disorder (type never known) which affected all my muscles including those of speech. At the age of 5 I travelled with my parents to Hungary, the first New Zealand child to attend the Peto Institute for Conductive Education. Within a few months at the Peto Institute I was able to stand and walk for the first time in my life. Since that time I have learned to do many other things including using a computer, which has proved to be invaluable in helping me to express myself. I have enjoyed completing several papers in creative writing both at Whitireia and Massey and intend to continue writing as long as I can.

Umpteenth Specialist Blues
‘So how can you describe her?’
He asks
wanting to understand.
to weigh her life
as if it was bread to be broken
and flung without a qualm
the hungry masses waiting.

She thinks...
‘It’s a slow, winding dance
one partner always changing
a fixed pattern of steps.
The same brief nod, eyes half closed
the same questions asked
over and over.’
‘Reach out and touch my hand,’ he says’
And ‘How many fingers am I holding up now?’

She wants to say, ‘four.’
She wants to say, ‘piss off!’
She wants to scream and rant
and dig her fingernails into his arm.
A stream of abuse fills her head
pours out through her skin
her eyes,
her wordless mouth.

Up there
a fly is circling the ceiling
a rose petal is floating in the breeze
an eagle soars above a barren plain.
Below her.......
the voices drone on.

But she is an eagle.