Poem

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Proximity

– for natalina angok

 

they are the women

                 whose bodies

                 don’t quite make front page

 

 

they are carefully measured outrage

 

     when it happened

 

they weren’t walking home from a

                                                           white

collar job post friday night drinks

at a bar you recognise

     and even if you learnt them

you forgot their names

                after a while

 

                   here

 

 

search the photos

see their smiles

 

they were mourned by sliding scale

     according to proximity

 

to –

     damn that could have been me

 

 

     don’t remind you

of your sisters girlfriends daughters selves

                                                                        or wives

 

their faces bleed toward the staplefold

and their killer’s state of mind will matter

 

     

             more than their coloured lives

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