there's a few I've lost

there’s a few I’ve lost, fallen off in the dark
behind a chest of drawers, under the bed,
gone to the place where socks go

I’ve lost some between meetings
& footpath conversations

some I’ve lost between the ears, 

others between the sheets

(though I’m not so worried about those)

some I’ve lost through inattention,

quite a few from laziness

some I’ve sent off to other people, 

who’ve probably lost them, or thrown them away 

some I’ve lost while talking to a friend

in a bar, between the last wine

& the first whisky

some it’s dishonest to say I lost 

when I never had them

some I’ve lost were as precious, I would say, 

as a shipload of Athenian black-figure pottery 

gone down in a storm north of Samos 

others no more valuable than receipts in my pockets 

that have gone through the wash 

there’s some I regret losing,

some I can’t now remember ever having

but there’s one I’ve lost 

which I hope to find

so I can read it again 

like I did when I was 13 

in front of a classroom of boys
in their grey school uniforms 

all sweaty after lunch

the first poem I ever wrote,
the first time I’d been asked. 

Published in 'a fine line', magazine of the NZ Poetry Society, May 2014