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FLYING BANANA SKIN : poetry compt. entry 2016

October 3, 2016

Flying banana skin

Alternative title: ‘Dad, I just wanna say’


Why do you lie to me?

I know you know.

In fact, I know that you know that I know

But still you won’t budge,

Won’t give up the theatre,

This fully formed manikin of your offspring

That lives off an umbilical cord connected directly to your brain

Feeding solely off a diet of expectation and hope,

Yours. Yours.

This being that you’ve made in your own image, who has grown with me,

Alongside me a Ghost twin, our paths never meeting,

Seldom crossing but only for a weekend in a hotel lobby in Arcadia.



He says “don’t worry, you’ll find a nice lady one day.”

But I know the “you” is for ‘I’ and the “worry” is his.

His voice trembles ever so slightly, the way it does when he tells a joke.father-son-walking

But he’s not telling a joke. The joke is a mask.

He knows. He knows, but it’s out of his control.

It scares him, because it’s out of his control.

He stumbles, he demands to be back in control, even if only to himself,

Even if the car has no driver, even though it has no engine,

Even if he’s wrong, even if it’s not his place.

“You will.” He words it as a statement.

He says it as a command. He’s in control,

If only to himself.



I am not what you expected,

When the nurse told you you were having a boy,

I am not what you expected.

Time and again I have defied your expectation. Rugby, rowing,

Agriculture, fighting, farm. Time and again,

And you showed your disappointment (even though

It was selfish of you, even though it wasn’t your place).

But not this time– Where is your disappointment?

Where is your no-nonsense rhetoric?

Where is your acknowledgement?

Or is acknowledgement of your disappointment the first step to its becoming reality?

And so you do not acknowledge it?

Is this going too far? Am I straying from ‘unexpected’ to ‘shameful’?

Why won’t you open your mouth?



(He doesn’t know it but I obsess over his words, and all I ask is for good words.)



He thinks Donald Trump would be a good president,

He supports Donald Trump.

We don’t always see eye-to-eye.

He doesn’t believe in white privilege,

He is happy when they employ a white man (not a Maori) on our farm.

We don’t always see eye-to-eye.

He thinks city people are living in a dream,

He is bored of the city.

We don’t always see eye-to-eye.

He is not like me, but we are similar.

We don’t always see eye-to-eye

But our eyes are the same.



Why won’t you?

Why won’t you acknowledge this? Why do you refuse, with silence, to validate my


Is this chunk too big to fit through the tiny holes in your sieve of expectation?

Why won’t you let it dissolve?

See, I don’t care about finding a nice lady, heck I don’t even care about finding a nice man.

I just need to be happy in myself, and I want you to be there

With me.


Cut the umbilical cord,

Let the manikin float off into dark space,

Move into this reality.



©  Charlie Pearson


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