Making the Triple Word Score
By Mark Pirie

Late one afternoon in Christchurch,
I play Scrabble with Grandma.

I lead by over twenty points
as I watch her dim eyes

search the board, preparing her
final move. Now in her 80s

I imagine she has trouble seeing.
I watch her pause momentarily,

before she turns to me, saying
‘Maybe if we have some light

upon the subject…’, and then
lifts her frail body from

the edge of her seat.
She walks over to the corner

of the room and tries to drag
a light stand across the floor,

but I intervene, and together
we move the light towards

the board. (Grandma not losing
her grip at any stage.) Then,

once we’re back at the newly-lit
table, it takes her just a short

while before she carefully
places her tiles on

the corner of the board
and, with a slight turn

of her head, states, ‘That’ll be
47,’ her eyes now aglow.


For Rachel
By Mark Pirie

Nine years have passed
since last we met, and now

you’re no longer the girl
who once giggled at my jokes
Here, seated in the lounge
of my parent’s house,

you show me photos
of your life in Kenya.

You tell me of lions, giraffes,
and tigers as if they’re

a part of you. Later,
I bring you a globe and we

watch it spin, measuring
the distance between us.


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