Inside my head
(Susan Hawthorne)

Verity La Heightened Talk

for my father

Inside my head are patterns
a quilt of paddocks
seen from the cockpit
of the Tiger Moth

the coastline is drawn
in waves, crumpled
like silk maps wrapped
around the cyanide pill

Inside my head are patterns
Inside my head are maps
Inside my head are boundaries
Inside my head all the people are dead

the New Guinea
clouds hide rocks
the runway bounces
like a field of pumpkins

the one standing next to me
was picked off, fell dead
on the spot where I’d stood
just a minute before

Inside my head are patterns
Inside my head are maps
Inside my head are boundaries
Inside my head all the people are dead

Inside my head are patterns
an engine pulled apart
laid out in the paddock
a patchwork of metal

the lines the bolts the spring clips
the gaskets big parts and small
an assemblage to rearrange
to spark into motion

Inside my head
there’s a dance
the Charleston
a pattern of flying feet

Inside my head are patterns
Inside my head are maps
Inside my head are boundaries
Inside my head all the people are dead

 


Susan Hawthorne is the author of nine collections of poem among them Cow (2011), which was shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize. Her most recent book is a novel, Dark Matters (2017). Her forthcoming collection The Sacking of the Muses will be published in 2019.