Thursday, October 4, 2012

Country Girl Swings Back on a Country Gate

Imagine a radio playing, the Voice of America,
and a slivered moon above a country cottage
in green and cream weatherboard.

A country girl swings back on a country gate,
the pulse of the landscape creaking with her,
sound of metal like strangled heat in December.

Parents tap her on the shoulder,
send her off to church. Funny way of bringing
God into your life when she prefers the beach.

The sky’s too bright to strap her in.
The shed school bullies down the beach,
drowning their faces in a flap of coats.

In the midst of family chores, the stars are crazy
in a storm. She remembers the circling
huntsman spinning music on the gramophone.

In the fork of a wooden gate, she hollers at the boys
dragging timber up the lane. A tree-house allows the blue
of clouds, tinted leaves and only birdsong in.

Childhood days -  father stacking bottles near the shed,
mother feeling every cotton drop from the Singer
like egg shells breaking when he passed.

There’s only one woman she loves supreme. Gran
in floured hands, clipping hedgerows in the heat. 
Sundays, teaching her to knit and sew into silence.

She left scrapbooks filled with cake, tobacco days of rum
and horse-drawn carts. She left  tins of buttons and pearls,
the house and land, the memories she traversed on.

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Evangelyne

Evangelyne
Published by Australian Poetry Centre, Melbourne

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Helen Hagemann's first literary collection, Evangelyne & other poems, was published by the Australian Poetry Centre in their New Poets Series 2009. She has two e-books, The Joyous Lake & Par écrit: poetry of the feminine @ http://issuu.com/evangelyne/​​docs/joyous_lake/

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