New Zealand, (b. 1978)
- Some people say
- You’re too pretty to be Tongan
- which is funny because
- it’s usually Tongans who say it.
- It is a short-cut to make a big distance between us
- and casually call me Palagi at the same time.
- I can hardly see if they are still waving
- from that
- long shore
- far away
- where they are having an umu with family.
- Feasting and belonging together
- but this time
- the umu is too deep
- in the ground.
- The food takes on the flavour of dirt.
- I see them
- eating pink gashes into the pig,
- which is the same colour
- as flesh-coloured dolls.
- We thank you for our daily bread.
- Pig juice to the roots of their fingers
- so now they can be forced into tight holes
- or slipped out of rings.
- Mmm boaka mmm
- – you don’t eat meat do you?
- No but some Palagis do
- My mother
- another Palagi,
- she eats bacon with her flesh-coloured mouth.
- She said she heard the pigs crying once
- before they were killed
- by the Tongans.
- She said
- They sounded like women.
About the Poet:
Simone Kaho, New Zealand, (b. 1978), is a poet with Tongan ancestry, part of a new generation of Pasifika voices. She was awarded a Masters in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington in 2011. Anahera Press published her first book of verse, Lucky Punch in August 2016.
Kaho resides in Auckland where she is well-known in for her dynamic poetry performances. She also loves working with musicians and crafting rock-n-roll poetry experiences for iconic venues including The Basement, The Mercury Theatre and Galatos. [DES-03/18]
- Anahera Press, publishers of Simone Kaho’s Lucky Punch