States of Poetry 2016 - South Australia | 'Back' by Jelena Dinic

I walk through my hometown
as an uninvited guest.

from communism

the old street has taken back
its maiden name.

I follow the steps of a lost child
watching myself

from the curtains
of memory's windows.

The doors of St Nicholas church
are rusty but open.

Inside familiar faces
and a sign

Buy candles here
they are blessed.

I count how many are needed
for the living

then for the dead
their smaller flames

burning violently
in my eyes.


Jelena Dinic

Jelena Dinic

Jelena Dinic

Jelena Dinic arrived in Australia in 1993 during the collapse of Yugoslavia. She writes in Serbian and in English. In 2014 she was a resident at the Eleanor Dark Foundation, Varuna Writers' Retreat in the Blue Mountains. The same year she co-edited the Friendly Street Poets Anthology The Infinite Dirt. Her chapbook Buttons On My Dress was published in spring 2015 by Garron publishing. She is currently the principal of the Serbian Ethnic School where she also teaches the language.

Comments (1)

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    This is such a beautiful and powerful poem. I love the visual imagery: "I follow the steps of a lost child, watching myself from the curtains of memory's windows." The sense of loss is so strong.

    Sunday, 28 May 2017 15:53 posted by  Haidee

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