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