States of Poetry Series Three - ACT | 'Cane Cutter's Bride: Museum of Fiji' by Anita Patel

Suddenly you accost me
with silent sepia eyes –
a sallow smudge of newsprint
hidden among weapons and bones.
You shrink and flutter
like a frightened bird
in the crimson mesh
of your wedding sari.
I am caught
in your dark gaze
in the tattered trace
of hands and face:
ragged remnants
of a fragile gift
carefully wrapped
and dispatched
with good wishes
to an alien land.

Anita Patel

Published in The Canberra Times, 29 September 2007

Anita Patel

Anita Patel

Anita Patel has had work published in various journals including Conversations (Pandanus Press, ANU), Block 9, Burley Journal, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Demos Journal, Mascara Literary Review, and Not Very Quiet Journal. Her poem 'Women’s Talk' won the ACT Writers Centre Poetry Prize in 2004. She has performed her work at many events, including at the Canberra Multicultural Festival, the Poetry on the Move Festival, Noted Festival, Floriade Fringe Festival, and at Word in Hand in Glebe. She was the feature poet for the Mother Tongue Showcase at Belconnen Arts Centre in 2016. She is the guest editor for Issue Two of Not Very Quiet Journal.

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.