the daughter (Stu Hatton)

She has been much-misconstrued.
I heard half a rumour
that belied the garden’s colours.
The father’s arm had withered
soon after he came out
of uniform, & never again did he laugh
outright. Would it have killed him?
In part. The daughter was long-dead
of his shame, needing
to walk the lengths but not
daring to ask, each day she lay
ready to be emptied. It
was whatever he contrived
like a thought sunk
in the noise. Knowing enough
of impossibility, she became a line
where a periphery began, but
he could never recover
that most lost of domains,
cast deep into early shade.

Stu Hatton is a writer and editor. He lives and works on Dja Dja Wurrung country in Campbells Creek, Victoria. His work has featured in The Age, Best Australian Poems, Cordite Poetry Review, Overland and Southerly. He has published two poetry collections, How to be Hungry (2010) and Glitching (2014), and is currently preparing a third. He is also working on a series of essays that contextualise and interpret some of the ‘songs that made us’; the first of these is on ‘Enola Gay’ by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.