My poem "Ready for more than nursery rhymes" is the opening poem in the beautiful "Quicksilver water - Oasis Women Poets" anthology which was launched yesterday at Hadley's Hotel in Hobart. I read at the event alongside many wonderful women, and what was very special to me, was that my daughter had her first poem published in the book and read it alongside me. Here is my poem.
Ready for more than nursery rhymes
I’ve kept my distance from you for three-and-a-half years
and that’s ok
because I was making new people –
two of them –
and really, life trumps poetry.
But without poetry,
life lacks some kind of empathic resonance,
percipience and depth,
so I am edging back to you
in between nappy changes and lullabies,
liquid Panadol and my own lonely pillow.
forgive me for snubbing you.
Remind me how to observe
more than the swollen gums of the next tooth,
more than the yearning for sleep-ins.
Come and save me
from the repetition of the weekly vacuum,
the dreaded bath-scrub, the urgent late-afternoon question
of what to cook.
I know some things, like these indescribable
love-blossomed smiles from my babies
are outside your scope of practice,
but I need you to rescue me from burnt meatballs,
temper tantrums at the kitchen gate
and this chasm between experience
Poetry, I’ve taken advantage of your patience.
Will you have me back?
- Susan Austin