BACK WHEN WE WERE TALKING


 
My mother once told me –
back when we were talking,
which we did in those days
but haven’t done for a while now –
never to poop in your own backyard.

Which I obviously then did; because, why not?
And, besides, I immediately then got
scooped up and placed in another garden,
greener, lusher and more verdant,
set free to roam as I pleased and it pleased me a lot –
so no hard ever came of it.

And as for the poop…
well the poop got left exactly where it was,
at the foot of a tree next to a wheelbarrow full of leaves
and a radiator ripe with rust,
where it shrank and withered over time
growing old benignly.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

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Step by step


 
Self love is a life long journey,
and some days
I’m not very good at it.

by Rebecca L. Atherton


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After a couple of days of torrential rain…


 
Jan made a trip down to Coffs Harbour
yesterday to see her accountant.

So we caught up for a coffee and dog walk
where the ocean and the creek meet.

by Rebecca L. Atherton


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Muddied Water


 
Judgement and muddied water: things that rise up – upsetting foundations, waking sleeping elements. Roots plucked, cut, grabbed and twisted: no wonder inside is a mess – upturned and broken; a heart rapidly beating, a breast leaning left, a throat sore for want of speech.

There’s a belly that’s empty and a stomach that’s hollow and a place that should be full. There’s a daughter without a mother and a father without a child. There’s upset and anger and misunderstanding. There’s the bridge that’s broken and the road that’s blocked, paths that don’t lead anywhere. There’s me and you and you and me: in the middle: stuck. It is impossible to navigate the minefield. At 9am, already I have lost a foot.

Limping backwards; attempting to make a hasty retreat; no longer worried about politeness and etiquette, no longer giving a shit about the shit that’s flying everywhere: I exit onto the street. The day is sunny but the heat doesn’t permeate. Instead, only pain; which is cold, persistent and impossible to suppress. There are things: people, places… that should not be entertained. I know this lesson. It is my fault. I am to blame.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

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Amateurs


 
Dinner last night
was full of dramatics:

my dog wouldn’t eat
because of her leg,

my partner passed out
because of his head

and my sister
got a lap full of soup.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

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High Alert


Pressing anxious paws against my lower arm,
she marks my skin,
3kg of stiletto feet.

Easily startled, nerves like gum,
she twitches like a bird:
permanent fight or flight.

Even asleep, she is awake
and I worry:
what does this do to her?

by Rebecca L. Atherton


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Mixed Emotions

image
 
Yesterday it was sunny
and I basked like a cat.

Today I am listening to the rain come down
while inside different parts of me cry.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

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Precious things


 
You came into my house and took without thanking;
and even though I gave you all that I had,
all that I was able:
it wasn’t enough.

In the silence of your departure,
I examine my loss:
unpicking it and licking it
until it calcifies.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

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Rock face


 
All she wants is for the man inside to show up –
not as a child or as a petulant teenager,
angry at the world and at her –
but as an adult, as himself.

A bit of compassion,
kindness…
mindfulness and presence,
would also be nice.

And yet…
living inside his stone fortress,
imprisoned inside layer upon layer of himself,
he watches but cannot not act.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

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This little thing


 
I expand on the outside
as she grows within:
this little thing,
no bigger than an aubergine.
Tomorrow, she will be a baked potato.
Next week, a marrow perhaps?

I wonder what she’ll be like
when she comes out
and if she’ll look like my cat,
who has sat on top of her for days
keeping a tab on the various ways
I am changing.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

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