Poem

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Last Octobers

then it’s full-bloom calendar-crash

 

                        mama-carves-the-pumpkin

tired-in-the-bones tinsel

in the aisles choose your tree

early here we go round the

                              trick or treat

time just crept up, and –

      is that more grey?

gosh, i feel

      what have i done this year

this year the kids are so

                     where did it

where did it

          spring’s halfway

   every year –

how many weeks until

        make-it-a-strong-short-black

 

                         god, now my back is out

where is the number for

 

goodness, the weather’s warm

 

glory, that sunset

 

           hasn’t

 

               it

 

          gone

 

                              … fast

 

 

and no matter how many

                           octobers

you swallow

 

they catch in your throat,

                                        like your last 

Maxine Beneba Clarke is the author of The Hate Race and Foreign Soil. She is a winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry.