Wards of State of Western Australia

By | 30 June 2008

for Diane

They liked church
the way we liked Countdown
the man had a moustache
& the woman had one too –
a soft, dark shadow
that haunted her smile

Diane didn't like calling them 'Ma' and 'Pa'
because they weren't – we learnt
we had the same hierarchy of crushes
on TV Week poster boys
(over Jatz and Kraft
the adults congratulated each other
they'd done us both good)

I gave Diane my favourite pink jeans
because after she put them on
they looked so good on her
they weren't my favourites anymore

When I asked her about the couple
& their pair of moustaches
she put her palm over her smile

When I asked about her real parents
the answer was something heavy
she lifted it slowly with her shoulders
& her palm was still
covering her mouth.

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