Tuesday, November 28, 2017

New Poetry by Caroline Reid

The Gift

The fine white ceramic face  
of the Japanese teacup
is wrinkled, as if it already lived a life
before it came here to grow old.

I drink from the side
where a single magnolia petal
folds over the lip.
I hold the marmalade flower
in my mouth
without spilling a drop.

When I proclaimed that I could no longer stand
drinking coffee out of thick-lipped mugs
you went off quietly to Little Tokyo
at the Central Markets and came home
with the teacup wrapped in turquoise tissue
slumbering in your palms.

We sat opposite each other 
in our usual spots at the table,
me facing the fridge
you the fireplace,
to unwrap the gift,
me with sprinting fingers
you with your eyes.

I like to think the teacup was hand-painted
by some Japanese master
the colours carefully selected
marmalade magnolia instead of orange
stamens of candle-glow yellow and gold
leaves mottled lapis, copper and bronze
but I know that no-one could have crafted this cup
with the same reverence in which you gave it.

You are in every teacup of coffee I drink.
You, who listen calmly to my daily proclamations
as if they were poetry
before you rub sleep from your eyes
and in the evenings, unlacing dusty boots
at our back door.

- Caroline Reid 2017

A writer of poetry, short stories and plays, Caroline Reid regularly performs her work and was a state finalist in South Australia's State Poetry Slam in 2016 and 2017. Her work has been published in journals and anthologies including Bath Flash Fiction Award, Verity La, 4W, Indigo, Seizures and Review of Australian Fiction. Last year she was emerging writer in residence at the SA Writers Centre where she completed a draft of her novel in progress, No Place for Children.

1 comment:

Carolyn Cordon said...

Beautiful, if this is an example of Caroline's poetry, I am very much looking forward to her Guest Poet gig at the Gawler Poets at the Pub event on uUnday 28 January 2018!