20140324

Anne Elvey


For years we have been saying


                                                    For years we have been
                                   saying that this round table in the corner
                                                                                                           a table
                 you bought through The Trading Post                    from a deceased
            estate, 
        with four (or was it six?) 
                                                                                  bentwood chairs—their cane lace-
  work woven into curved frames;          saying
                                                                                                that the circle of beams laid
parallel and trimmed                   then smoothed and polished                  should be cut back    
and varnished.     Yesterday

                                                                      in the leaked sun of blinds we drew against
   a forty-degree day, I noticed          where a child         
      contrary to instruction,                   pressed too hard                                 to draw 
          and inscribed the dark plane. 
                                                                              The afternoon light picked out 
                     meals and games—
                             our lives                                      tattooed in the flesh 
                                         of trees                              long dead.




After the reading

Return to the old case
the voice, to the leather case
shaped to a doll, the case

lined with crimson, the satin-
lined case, an unburnt

throat. Over the torso
fold the loose limbs
of the saying. Shut on itself

the wood jaw. Tilt
the slack neck. Take

the hand from under the skirt.
Tuck the cloth. Fit
to its shape the thing. Close

the quiet lid. Press
down the rusted clasps.




Anne Elvey’s first full length poetry collection Kin is due out from 5 Islands Press in April 2014. Her poems have appeared most recently in Overland, Eureka Street, Meanjin, Australian Love Poems 2013 and Best Australian Poems 2013. Anne is managing editor of Plumwood Mountain: An Australian Journal of Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics (http://plumwoodmountain.com). She lives in Melbourne, Australia, and holds honorary appointments at Monash University and University of Divinity. http://anneelvey.wordpress.com
 
 
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