States of Poetry 2016 - Western Australia | ‘Triple Mirrors’ by Carolyn Abbs

After you died, Nana, I went to your room,
it was dark like that place beneath the breakwater
where barnacles cling and children never dare hide

I opened a blind, a stuck window, breeze fanned
and fanned the room, light across your dressing-
table, triple mirrors. Amidst perfume bottles,

hairbrush, amber beads, your art deco box,
walnut with inlaid mother-of-pearl; guiltily
as if invading privacy, I lifted the lid,

postcards of seaside scenes, turquoise Quink,
stamps, shells, keys, coins, and with sand-like
grit beneath my nails, I heard an echo of the tide
a slow swish, swish...

I tried a jet-diamante comb in my hair, the mirrors
shimmered silver; as if through mist, your blue-
grey eyes came back, three times, to look at me,
waves swept and swept the shore...

the room so empty without you


Carolyn Abbs

'Triple Mirrors' was published in Westerly, 60.2, 2015.


'Tripe Mirror's begins at 5:17

Carolyn Abbs

Carolyn Abbs

Carolyn Abbs grew up in the south of England, and now lives in Fremantle, Western Australia. She has published poems in journals and anthologies such as Westerly, Cordite, Rabbit, Writ Poetry Review, The Best Australian Poems 2014, and in Axon: Creative Explorations (issue 9), a series of ten poems, with photography by her sister, Elizabeth Roberts. Her PhD is from Murdoch University, where she taught in the School of Arts (English) for a number of years. She has published an academic book Virginia Woolf: a mosaic of nonverbal arts (2010). Carolyn is currently working towards a first collection of poetry.