'St Marys, Tas' by Zenobia Frost | States of Poetry QLD - Series Two

It’s a town with a veggie patch
in the cop shop yard.

Outside the grocer, with shelves
of tins and faded VHS tapes,
a boy on a scooter asks,
Are you looking for wi-fi? as if
he’s bootlegged some to sell.

In the café we bemoan the goat-track
we drove in on: the Elephant Pass.
Swaying huge and daft,
the van was elephant enough
mid-slalom to have me swigging benzos.

The sweetshop lady, who hand-makes
the fudge, the jam, the knitted toys, the doilies,
says, You’re set up at the racecourse.
It’s not a question. We wonder if
the tomato-tending officers will catch us
rifling in the ghostly stables of the off season.

She’s straight-faced. That’s where I take my walks.
I saw your caravan this morning, rocking away.
Like a rocking horse. We buy blackberry jam
and back out, found wanting.

That morning, it had been the cold
that woke us. We’d turned on the gas stove
for warmth, and for a little while, watched our breath
fill the space like fog inspecting the empty stables,
the whole van on a low boil over the frost.

Zenobia Frost

Zenobia Frost

Zenobia Frost

Zenobia Frost is a writer from Brisbane, Australia. Her work has appeared in Overland, Cordite, Arc (Canada), Scum, Woolf Pack, and the Hunter Anthology of Contemporary Feminist Poetry. In 2015, an ArtStart grant allowed her to study poetry in Germany at the Black Forest Writing Seminars and through digital workshops with Warsan Shire. Her first collection, Salt and Bone, was published by Walleah Press in 2014, and was shortlisted for the Thomas Shapcott Prize and Anne Elder Awards. In 2017, she was shortlisted for the inaugural Red Room Poetry Fellowship. Zenobia is a Master’s candidate at QUT, researching the poetics of transient domestic spaces in Queensland.