Calling home

“What else?” She asks.
For the second time today.

The first time, 
I’d stood by the window
basking, in the stream
shooting from the horizon.
Full in my face,
filling untinted glasses
with blinding brightness
and warmth.

Like a steam towel on an airplane
soothing, it sat on my eyes,
closed, I’d surrendered
just a little longer…
almost forgetting
mother’s “what else?”
I’d jerked at her shakiness
“Hmm… Nothing else, ma.”

Clicking off,
promising another call
in eight hours.

As a pebble in a stream,
tumbling, tumulting at tasks 
delayed progress
time flew in my world—
froze in hers.
As empty picture frame, 
life hung around.
Hollow in the middle, 
nothingness spread wide,
countable greys now blacks
once page-flipping fingers
frayed, shiver at a touch
shrill soccer mum’s throat
now trill in weak trebles.

“What else?” she asks me.
Stumped, “How’s the weather ma?”
I repeat.



One by one
letting kids go
mother glacier

Lake Ginninderra, Canberra


As child starved all night
tugging at its mother’s heart
laps, laps, lake water

Photo: Lake Ginninderra, Canberra


prising away
protecting tether
plops baby

*Experimenting with modern haiku. It’s fun—try it sometime.


“I hate you”
you declared
stormed out
into the setting sun
that winter’s eve
through glass doors
away from me,
my reaching hand

I turned back
oh, my child
I love you still
you’ll come around
after all,
aren’t mothers and daughters
just fighting cocks?

it was something silly—
but my dear,
people will dally
you were right to worry
tension’s high
big day nearby
complain, whine—fine
pray, lay off wine!

“drive safe”
text, less invasive
I hovered…
ah, beautiful shoes
perfect wedding night
complements your white
clicked my phone off

Sought luxury for your feet
as you lost luxury of feet.