Mary Cresswell is from Los Angeles and lives on New Zealand's Kapiti Coast.
She has poems in a variety of journals, both in NZ and overseas; her latest book,
Trace Fossils, was published in early 2011.
More detail at: www.bookcouncil.org.nz/Writers/
Remember the time we drove to Merced? You were eight, I was ten. It was a blistering day. We pulled off the old highway and parked under the eucalyptus. They opened the car doors to let us explore. We scrambled down to the river. I knew there would be crystal pools where we would wade, where we would splash for minnows and (like in the book I was reading) know that we had found a magic place, special only to us. But the chaparral scratched me until I bled, and dusty rocks were all that filled the river bed. Then they called us back to lunch - a paper bag of peanut butter sandwiches, squashed flat as hope, and every bit as dry.