Fiction    Reading Room    Memoir    Interview

Safe Passage

Here is the cat. Here is the cradle.
Here is the bird that cries to-do
and where your daughter
passed through the frozen season,
the empty house. I love you
in the film that collects on the table,
on the windowpanes. Where she ran
her fingers through your dust and frost.
Here, the man with his goose and his fox
reduced to a smudge with a speck and a dot,
having safely crossed the river.
In the fallen city, the surprise was
what was not found, which was
virtually anything. Porch guarded
by a gun called Kindness. Small dogs
at the screen doors, big dogs at the gates.
We’ll hear what’s coming if it’s coming.
Not alone, see, rather, beside myself,
when all of my lines are lines of defence.
When all of our best suits outfit the dead,
same scale of one to stricken. The clauses
include: stop-gap, sunset. Here, my straight
face claiming victory, trimming the wicks
to praise what is ours to re-ravel.
Not felled city. Fallen. Where men
no older than yourself stood in the sun,
but trembling. We used to say my people,
knew which wind would carry us away
and which would take us home again.
I am speaking for myself. Don’t waste
your breath. The dogs aren’t deaf,
they’re trying to forget their names.
Johanna Aitchison
Michele Amas
Angela Andrews
Sarah Barnett
David Beach
Ken Bolton
Jenny Bornholdt
Rachel Bush
Mary Cresswell
Stephanie De Montalk
Cliff Fell
Tom Fitzsimons
Brian Flaherty
David Geary
Bernadette Hall
Kerry Hines
Andrew Johnston
Therese Lloyd
Iggy McGovern
Mary Macpherson
Dora Malech  
Vana Manasiadis
Emma Neale
Gregory O'Brien
Lucy Orbell
Zach Savich
Charlotte Simmonds
Marty Smith
Elizabeth Smither
Abby Stewart
Robert Sullivan
Jo Thorpe
Cath Vidler
Louise Wallace
Ashleigh Young

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