Frankie McMillan

Frankie McMillan is a poet and short fiction writer from Aotearoa New Zealand. Her latest book, The Father of Octopus Wrestling and other small fictions (Canterbury University Press) was listed by Spinoff, as one of the ten best New Zealand fiction books of 2019.

THE MILK BOTTLE LEGS OF THE HIGH WIRE WOMAN by Frankie McMillan

1 When I look at her legs I see upturned milk bottles, and I’m talking here of the glass bottles that milk used to come in and I love the shape of those legs, I could stay out all night on the frosty grass looking up at the wire and Miss Tatyana walking the wire in silence, only the guy ropes creaking and the twang of the metal pulley, and you know, those legs get my score, those legs belonging to Miss Tatyana all the way from Russia where they didn’t have glass milk bottles, only Mr Stalin, his mouth…

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IN THE END DAYS YOUR FATHER COMES TO VISIT by Frankie McMillan

He wants a photograph of the baby in the bath. Or maybe lying on a sheepskin rug. You say you haven’t got a sheepskin rug and the baby’s already had a bath. Your father says, ‘ Well make up your mind, sweetheart.’ He wants a photograph of his grandson before he gets back on the plane.   He picks the baby up, holds him by the window for a closer look. ‘There’s nothing wrong with him,’  he says. You point to the baby’s hairy legs. ‘It’s nothing,’ your father snorts. He declares the baby perfectly normal. He unscrews the cap…

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