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
          trapped
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.