for Evelyn, Elizabeth and Janet
Home is the colour of sunlight through the kitchen window,
a lemon-curd glow as day infuses thin air.
I’m inside with my young daughter, crafting a version of love
from cooling figs and a row of gingham-capped jars.
And with each turn of our old cooking spoon, I’m borrowing
maternal lore; making simple transactions of inheritance.
Some domestic artefacts endure in their retelling and
become glory box gifts worth leaving – like this simple spoon
placed by my grandmother’s hands and her mother’s before
hers, deep in a calico-lined tea chest. The kind of old spoon
that carried the heart of a kitchen. Wide-mouthed and generous,
with lipped edges that could curl snug around a single egg
or stir resilience through with servitude when the winds changed.
During weeks that stretched to months when the work dried up,
when tall brown beer bottles kept an empty meat-safe company;
when something could always be made from nothing.
A domestic instrument with a defined use and a dozen undefined
others; a generational orphan, an extension of matriarchal hands.
This afternoon, we measure distances together, making jam and
history, ghosted by the thickening fingers of bush brides.
And as Saturday floats, I am witness to my daughter’s
industry, working beside me with small, deliberate hands.
Day slides away and crickets crowd the night air with an earthly
thrum. From the back steps, the sky turns the colour of eternity.
- 96: NO THEME IXSUBMIT NOW with M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHCOMING SOON with M Takolaner 94: BAYTCOMING SOON with Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRO AUSTRALIANwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones