new zealand electronic poetry centre




Selina Tusitala Marsh

pig-tailed girl


it’s as if
it was on every Herald front page
as if
every billboard caught the moment
of the pig-tailed girl running
from the Rangeview public toilets
baubles slapping scraped back
smudged top torn
blood on thighs and knees
screamingcrying into the park away
away from the man
emerging from the toilet
zippingrunning after bait

the cleaner saw
heard and saw
and couldn’t quite believe until he found
blood on the concrete floor
in the end cubicle
of Rangeview public toilets

five surrounding primary schools reported
no one missing
she’s gone
no follow-up article
him her darkness

12 years later
the Herald front-pages the crime scene:
a man hangs by his balls
from the chain of a Rangeview swing
a severed roll of meat
lies next to bloody HBs
a dog sniffs
then shits
on it.