2 poems

by Judith Steele



A meal, a table, a grandmother
forcing food into a child’s mouth.
He must eat what she prepares,
He obeys.

The grandfather sadly leaves the table,
stares through the window at the sea.
“Go out” says the daughter. “Get away”
He can’t hear anything but Duty.

A child, an uncle, an aunt, absent mother and father.
A gold puppet with green emeralds
the uncle offers the child. The aunt watches
with sad eyes. Does she want the child
to take the gift or not? The child is silent,

She is driving in the dark, looking for her sister
at the concert, at the pub, in the car
She’s lost her white coat, her handbag,
the brooch her sister gave her, and her sister.
Her fear is always with her,
driving in the dark.

Sea of Life

Childhood sea, peaceful light,
sand-castles, slippery-dip,
companion I remember
from another life.
Adolescent sea
high tide blue wave
lifts and carries
our exuberance.
Middle-age, a green line
on the horizon, few companions
We wait for the sea’s return
to soothe our aching feet.
Now all sea waves
are viewed from windows.
I can’t get out
until my ship comes in.

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Judith Steele is Australian. Her poetry has appeared in Northern Territory and South Australian publications including Northern Perspective, Northerly, Dymocks Northern Territory Literary Awards, Friendly Street Poets. Poetry or prose has appeared on websites including The Animist, Four and Twenty, Islet Online (as Dita West), In other Words:Merida .

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photo by Angela M Campbell