My mother Margaret is an artist, although she wouldn’t say as much without adding some qualification. Let’s say she is a landscape painter. When she turned 70 I invited her to spend two weeks as artist in residence at a place in Bilpin, west of Sydney.
Clara had long dark hair that was as limp as swimming seaweed, and her skin was pale and speckled with tiny dots in patches, like little dot families. They were so small, these dots on her arms and legs and face, that they were not freckles but rather dust, and often I felt the urge to wipe them off with a face washer when I looked at her.
The women taught me things. One showed me how to hold onto the sleeve of my shirt when I pulled on a jumper so the sleeve didn’t roll up and bunch around my elbow. Another showed me how to press the top of a milk carton into a beak so the milk could pour out.
all on their own achieve
Hung from a feather,
a soft noose.
It’s never too late
to cut me down.