Unearthed

Acacias, adorned in gold, bob heavy heads to a koolbardi’s caroling call. A raven, scratching at freshly turned soil, unearths Marco’s watch. The koolbardi swoops, screeching. A clash of beaks. A storm of feathers.

Silence.

Gingerly, Gina grabs her shovel.


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How not to make my father’s sardine achar

Around mid-July become deeply maudlin and morose. Be confused about why colours seem muted, sounds seem dulled, about why you’re suddenly short-tempered and tetchy with your family. Wonder if you have a hormone imbalance. Check for pain or injury. When you find nothing glaringly wrong, wonder if mood swings characterise anxiety or depression.

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Inheritance of fear

I watch my four-year-old son spring from rock to boulder — a little mountain goat — giggling with pleasure.

“Don’t fall!” I call, my motherliness rising like bile in my throat.

He doesn’t hear, and keeps climbing — surefooted, confident.

I hope he never hears my anxiety.



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The hit

They exchange secrets; two strangers on the bus.

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Love is a string of cheese

In response to Nate’s critique of his own imagery in Break Up

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Ripples

I’m checking in on you.

The words from my friend, so simple and so full of all the concern and love and tenderness between us, loosed emotions barely held at bay.

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Silky Sidney

She pinched off a piece of the tiny banana between the tips of her fingers and thumb. Sun-ripened and sugary-sweet, it was harvested earlier that morning from one of the many banana plants in her sprawling, verdant, over-planted garden. She mashed it meticulously, breaking up large chunks so there would be no choking hazard. Then she grabbed the ‘baby’, pried open his mouth, and shoved banana inside, scraping her fingers along his teeth to get every last scrap. She tilted his chin up and massaged his throat–there would be no spitting out of pre-triturated banana, no rejection of her love.

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Payback

Death as ferryman

‘How much to cross?’ The Devil rubbed his bald head. He missed his golden locks.

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The queen’s entourage

‘Rani!’ The call goes up from a young woman behind the counter.

One by one, other staff members take up the refrain till it reverberates through the cavernous interior of the pet shop, an echo inside a cave, the opening strains of The Circle of Life.

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Gendering the Queen

“Can I take a photo of him?” the woman asks.

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