The Notched Wing

Helen Tara Hughes – Poetry, Fiction, Film, Phantasms

Song Cycle of Three: Work in Progress

I took my notebook on the subway tonite. Emptied my brain, sat in a seat, opened the notebook and began to write.

Zucchini – I

In my mother’s paisley wrap skirt from the 60′s,
I survive the heat on Bloor Street.
I am at the grocery- it is Vietnamese -
and I am holding just…this… zucchini.

There is a man at the cash,
he is watching me, from underneath his lids,
holding just… this…zucchini…
and its then that I get the idea.

I have been craving this zucchini, cut into thick long strips -
dipped into sour cream that has asiago grated thickly in.
But for him I am buying just…this… zucchini

He leaves.

Zucchini – II

I am buying just… this… zucchini
I hear the chattering of fairies from the counter beneath.
Sound sprouts hands that are touching, giggling, pulling, feeling
my mother’s paisley wrap skirt from the 60′s.

It’s like I’m not even there – they are playing, chatting, patting
with such glee and I think they seem like little …Ewoks to me.
I stand in mute rhapsody, struck, helpless against the examining -
Their mother pulls them free and hands me just…this… zucchini.

I leave.

Zucchini – III

I am standing on the rug in my bare feet
I am eating just… this…zucchini
Warm green slice dips into cold sour cream that hangs from the tip -
I bite it off and redip.

My mother’s paisley wrap skirt from the 60′s
flaps around your hands at my knees -
I am hogging the cool breeze from the fan,
blocking it from you in your seat in front of me.

Sweat beads on your upper lip and trickles down your cheek
as you receive a piece …after piece…after piece…
dipped in cold sharp cream.
Delicious, nutritious, naughty and clean -


( tara hughes, 2005)

Author: smallboy

Helen Tara Hughes is a writer, producer and actor. An award-winning theatre performer, she cut her teeth in classical and new work at major theatres across Canada, including the Stratford Festival. Her first taste of documentary work – a POV radio documentary for CBC’s ‘Outfront’ – gave her the documentary bug, and in 2009 she transitioned into Producing with the feature documentary, Goodness in Rwanda. As a writer, she has been published by, Eros Digest, and TWISI, and has a book of short stories that will be published in the fall of 2012. As a filmmaker, she creates short films based on poetic writing. She moonlights as an Asst Producer and Coordinator for documentary, factual, and independent films, and is developing a slate of her own media projects for 2013.

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