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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 2, April 2014

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Marilyn Humbert
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Sheltering

A peaceful garden, a gathering place. Large leafy trees where birds congregate and songs drift among busy bees, beds of soft-petal roses, sundial daisies and manicured grass.

Before the murmuring voices at sunrise mingle with the rhythmic crunch of boots on gravel. Before rallies and conscription, food rationing and soldiers.

this game
of hide and seek
father and daughter
cling to the shadows
cling to each other

The garden withers. Weeds smother the daisies, strangle the roses. Disease blights all scent. The lawn is choked by thistles and burrs.

trapped
in a rampant tangle
of thorny vines—
father’s voice stilled
bound in spider’s silk

After many barren years, the garden blooms again. Some things remain broken, bent out of shape. Oaks and elms uprooted, clovers crushed underfoot. Seeds, carried in the wind, have scattered far from home.

sheltering
under a southern cross
I search
in vain
for Orion and Sirius

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