All Our Seasons
At the kitchen table I made paper dolls
extravagantly dressed, cotton wool fur edging
their green crepe skating dresses –
ice waltzes in a landscape so far from the mango tree -
my ship’s lookout – and the couch grass
of our backyard. A fragile succession of Charlottes
and Beths danced through winter seasons and on
to summer, water-colour stained empire frocks,
all out of historical whack,
until I packed them up for the colonies,
quoits and romance on the deck
of the sixties laminex, and at the other end,
the tea, the buttered white bread.
There are four cloth doll heads
smiling in a bowl at the flea market.
I touch each in turn, buy velvet ribbon,
a powder compact,
gilt slightly rubbed,
and some silky stuff that once
I’d have plaited and twisted into a knot
for Charlotte’s coming out.
Hey, queen of the kitchen kingdom
in your summer palace
waltz with me –
I never left you behind
we are always the same story
all our fragile seasons.
Catherine Bateson, 2013.
Check out the Tuesday Poem at the Tuesday Poem hub - this week, guest edited by me! It's a poem by award-winning Australian poet, Jill Jones. It's a powerful poem and I admire the way it skirts narrative, something I find trouble doing, clearly. I was going to offer a handmade haiku lino-print card all the way from Paris to the first person who commented on both this blog and the Tuesday Poem blog - who knows I still might.