I think about you, mother,
at my age, on this day
that you’re suddenly twice that—
one blue-eyed child already
banging on your saucepan lids,
another curled inside you, your worry
In the photos, at my age,
(now you are exactly twice that)
your curls catch the light behind you and you stand
beside the bare brick of your house,
the windows still uncurtained.
You’ve told me that you dream, sometimes
of your children drowning,
that most painful of deaths:
across all of these years.
I grow tomatoes in an old crate
and they flower, but never fruit.
This is my choice.
And it’s not messier,
it only looks that way
because it’s harder to narrate.
I look older than you did then,
my face too thin
to be forgiving.
I too dream
Fiona Wright’s latest poetry collection is Domestic Interior (Giramondo, 2017). Her book of essays Small Acts of Disappearance won the 2016 Kibble Award and the Queensland Premier’s Prize for nonfiction