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