Everything we write
will be used against us
or against those we love.
‘North American Time’, Adrienne Rich
The innocence of cornflowers —
a dimpled, wheel-thrown cup.
Glazed on the inside. My hand
takes its pleasure from the rough.
Words: fallen soldiers on a page.
They come and they go. Memory
as surprising as a laden donkey
picking its way towards the church
at the top of a hill. On this island
even the cats sleep with one eye open.
The dark: the wind, the sea. These
cold hours measured by candlelight.
Eileen Chong is a poet who lives and works in Sydney, Australia. Her publications include Burning Rice (Australian Poetry, 2012), Peony (Pitt Street Poetry, 2014), Painting Red Orchids (Pitt Street Poetry, 2016), Another Language (George Braziller, 2017), The Uncommon Feast (Recent Work Press, 2018), and Rainforest (Pitt Street Poetry, forthcoming 2018). Her books have shortlisted for the Anne Elder Award, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, and twice for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award. Find more from Eileen on her website.