'on that last morning' by Josephine Clarke | States of Poetry WA - Series Two

we remembered
your face, pink, lit like we’d never seen it
when your hands at your shoulders met his
       for the Pride of Erin
the ease of your gliding
       for the three-four Modern Waltz
that marquisite brooch on the bodice
of your teal best dress

your stepping in perfect union on the dance floor
– how ineluctable your coupling

you could never forget
that quick step to expecting
the slow drive to Harvey
to tell your father, an internee,
or the nuns who sang you a full Mass
despite the rule of the Church

we watched
the slow unravelling
dinner to the dogs
chips of china in the wood pile
tears in the cold wash house
behind the steaming copper

we eavesdropped
on the soft vowels of dialect
with your allies when he was out
magari ... I wish
che pu fa? ... what can you do?
your laughter rippling
a corrugated scale by the end of the pot

we will never forget
you had to ask for money
he always asked what for?

at the end you called him
he sat by you his gaze adrift
you had fought each other hard

but stayed
till the end of the dance

Josephine Clarke

Josephine Clarke

Josephine Clarke

Josephine Clarke grew up in the South West of Western Australia, the daughter of Italian migrants. After gaining an Arts Degree and a Dip. Ed. at the University of Western Australia, she taught English at high school before travelling to other states and countries with her family. Josephine has had short stories and poetry published in Cordite, Westerly, indigo, Eureka Street, and the Review of Australian Fiction. She now lives in Fremantle and is a member of a collective that organises monthly poetry readings for Fremantle Voicebox, and has been actively involved with Out of the Asylum Writers’ Group, based at the Fremantle Arts Centre.

Comments (1)

  • Leave a comment

    Wow. So poignant, moving, powerful! A gift indeed. Thank you.

    Thursday, 14 December 2017 22:47 posted by  Alistair P D Bain

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