Helen Moffett’s Strange Fruit

Another Country
Helen Moffett
In other countries, I become a different person.
In Uganda, I drink beer after Tuskers beer,
and in Barbados, home-made herb rum.
In Alaska, I drive a four-by-four.
In Ireland, I stick out my thumb.
In Greece, I share a room with strangers.
And everywhere, I get up before dawn,
climbing out of windows if I have to,
scrambling to catch first light.
On the sacred isle of Iona, adrift in the Hebrides,
I walk along a beach, confessing,
clutching the hand of an impossible man
I have known for all of three days.
And I skydive into love, freefalling,
wind whistling past my ears.
A day later, I kiss him
in the middle of the night,
in the middle of a storm,
spray wet on our faces,
caught in the boom of a kettledrum.
At home, I never do any of these things.
I’m a white-wine girl who doesn’t see sunrise.
My car is small and second-hand.
I seldom take risks.
And while I might fall in love,
I no longer jump out of planes,
hurtle into the heart of the wind.
But maybe I should. Live in another country.
for Sean McDonagh
From Strange Fruit (Modjaji Books, 2009)
Read my interview with Helen on Litnet.
Read four poems from Strange Fruit at Rustum Kozain’s blog,
To purchase Strange Fruit, contact Colleen Higgs at Modjaji Books:
You are cordially invited to Strange Fruit’s launch – Helen will be reading – at the Cape Town Book Fair on 14 June 2009 from 17h30 to 18h30 at the DALRO Stage in the CTICC exhibition halls.

9 thoughts on “Helen Moffett’s Strange Fruit

  1. Michelle Post author

    I love it too, Carolee – the poem and the cover.

    What about “caught in the boom of a kettledrum”?

  2. Michelle Post author

    I smiled when I read your comment. It absolutely is one of the one’s I’m buying you.

  3. Julie

    Michelle, the beautiful work you post never ceases to amaze and thrill me. Oh yes to the kettle drum and all that wonderful rhythm. I love the poem, and yes…I could eat that cover with my bare hands! Thanks again, sis:)

  4. Helen

    Hello there, I want to thank Michelle for posting my poem, and for being such a fabulous supporter of poets and their poetry…

    And I’m so glad you like the poem and the gorgeous cover (the art done by super-talented Hannah Morris). For peony moon fans in Cape Town, the book is available at the Book Lounge. Enjoy!

  5. Michelle Post author

    Helen, congratulations on your beautiful baby!

    I’m so sorry I can’t be at the launch x

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