My Honest Poem
A moving account in poetry of one woman’s pathway through violence and addiction.
at six, my mother’s boyfriend
forced his fat hairy hand
inside my heart-shaped face
for eating too many Fruit Bursts
we bought a tube of them at BP
wrapped individually in pastel wax papers
which littered the backseat
like sweet-smelling confetti
his hand tasted
a metallic tang of rust
the hot edge of petrol
from the pump still lingering
on his fingers
My Honest Poem is a moving and powerful poetry collection that follows recovery from a life fractured by family violence and addiction. It is a coming-of-age story of a young New Zealand woman rebuilding strength and hope in the spaces left by trauma.
Jess Fiebig is a Christchurch-based poet whose work has featured in Best New Zealand Poems 2018, Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2018 and 2019, Landfall, Turbine | Kapohau and takahē. She was runner-up in the 2019 Sarah Broom Poetry Prize.
‘These poems are undeniably personal and often deeply painful: childhood neglect, abuse, alcoholism, physical hurt, depression and self-harm are their subject matter. But – through linguistic skill and sheer intelligence – Fiebig crafts a lyrical beauty from unpromising material. You finish reading her work feeling uplifted by the writer’s courage and honesty.’ – Fiona Farrell