Instinct

She knew before it came
before it stood awkward at her door
in a uniform it couldn’t breathe in.

It was far off at first
as though she’d left the phone off the hook
and another world was calling.

Then it got closer
building in volume like some great tidal wave
with nowhere to break.

And after they’d told her
she realised what the sound was
and carefully shut her mouth.

 

published in Transnational Literature 2014

 

Visiting hours

Her hands don’t belong here
bewildered starfish beached on the table.
She wants to put them away
with the napkins and knives.

When the doorbell rings she answers the fridge
confused and then thrilled
to see her teeth grinning back.

She thought it’d be her daughter
nods polite to the woman who’s stolen her name.

Later she remembers the time
shuffles in slippers to find it again.

 

published in Memory Weaving: An Anthology about Dementia Journeys by Poetica Christi Press 2014

 

Admission

She wonders how she got here
sees no sign that she should be.

They look in on her often
in their coats with their pens making waves
on their papers.
She stares back
her eyes full moons with the heart cut out.

Sometimes she puts on a show
sends their note-taking mad
her hands restless spiders make nests in her hair.

Mostly she waits
moves her words to her fingers
touches her mouth when she wants to speak
her voice like smashed glass at midnight.

 

published in Poems 2013: Australian Poetry Ltd Member’s Anthology 2013

 

After

Waking it all falls away
the smooth of your back
the weight of your arm
your mouth as it speaks of your sleep.

I turn in bed
question mark my body
round the cold aching next to me
patchwork these dream bits
create you again.

 

published in Sotto magazine 2013

 

Balancing act

Lost in the peace
of a lotus flower
you sit
crossed
deep in breath
while I wait
on edge

for the unfold
to begin.

 

published in Balancing Act and Other Poems by Unbound Press 2010