This Used to Be My Playground

*This poem was published in May 2020 in The Poets Symphony by Raw Earth Ink.

We never had a photo together
yet I remember every expression of you
I have never returned the books you left on my book shelf
the only ones without dust

Silent night has never been peaceful
since I heard your car burned into flames
on the highway with extra snow
buried your seventeen years old charred body

This used to be my playground
This used to be my childhood dream
This used to be the place I ran to whenever I was in need of a friend
Why did it have to end

I have never been able to say goodbye to you
maybe that is why nothing good had been with you

You left me a letter before you boarded the plane
You know I have never opened it to this day
Nothing matters really since the day you’ve been gone

This used to be my playground
This used to be my childhood dream
This used to be the place I ran to whenever I was in need of a friend
Why did it have to end

Nothing is as pure as childhood sweethearts
No love is sweeter than sweet sixteen

I dream of you still in black and white
Your linen shirt flying on the swing
Your manic laughter on the seesaw

This used to be my playground
This used to be my childhood dream
This used to be the place I ran to whenever I was in need of a friend
Why did it have to end

There is no he will ever replace you
in the land of the living
You are my perfection
my first
and my destiny

Once upon a time

I get to know Alana
she wears leopard print dress
and flaming red nails
she plays the keyboard
in broad daylight
to fight off the blues

We talk about girly stuff
skin exfoliation
hydration mask
hair tossing
and stiletto heels

She tells me about Alan
in corroboree
he wore coloured feathers
and ornamental coverings
he painted white and red bands
across his chest

Alana doesn’t go to corroboree anymore
she cannot bear to see herself
in Alan’s persona with
bare chest and hairy body
she misses her mob
and the land

It is easier to talk about
the Summer makeup trend
balayage hairstyle
slimming corset
and hot pink toes

Writer’s note: This poem was published in Australian Poetry Journal. It highlighted the struggle of being a transgender Aboriginal Australian. They are up against the disapproval of their mobs and elders. The constant feeling of the need to live a double life often adds the stress and mental strain, and subsequently has a negative impact on their mental health.

Greensleeves

This poem made it to Lisa’s Anthology of Poetry Heart Beats and was published by Prolific Pulse Press in March 2021. I was honoured to be included in this anthology along with other very talented poets. Purchase link here

The ocean looks extra boisterous in the middle of a heatwave 
A sea of vibrant tents, umbrellas and cabanas scattering along the long stretch of beach line 
Children are screeching in the cascades of white foams 
Everything is intensifying the scorching sand beneath our feet 

I pray silently for a break of cool breeze 
The sound of Greensleeves is approaching like happy footsteps 
I pause instantly and join in with others swarming towards the ice cream van 
A new found joy springs up with the anticipation of cool relief 
The familiar melody reminds me of the forever happy place  

Greensleeves (Piano)

Her Last Heart Beat

This poem made it to Lisa’s Anthology of Poetry Heart Beats and was published by Prolific Pulse Press in March 2021. I was honoured to be included in this anthology along with other very talented poets. Purchase link here

I saw grandma lying in the palliative unit 

She was the last plum hanging on the branch 

Although she survived the summer sun 

Her overly ripen skin was purple and blue 

We gathered around her like a flock of sheep 

We retold the funny family stories 

Turning our tears into laughter 

We kissed her clammy forehead and cool hands 

We told her we loved her 

And promised to see her in heaven 

Her last heartbeat gave in 

While the new born birds chirping outside the window to welcome the golden sun