Published in Overland Issue 204 Spring 2011 · Main Posts Two Years On Elizabeth Allen I want to write a poem about gardening, watering the veggie patch & how it reduces things down to a manageable size. To write a poem about putting on another load of washing, taking the rubbish out, catching the bus home. I want to cut a word here & there: trimming flowers before arranging them in a vase. To write a poem about yoga: feeling vulnerable, inflexible, briefly graceful. A poem that tells you to be gentle, that there is time. I would write it on a Sunday while the bolognaise for the week ahead simmers, while the neighbour’s opera floods through the wall and the children across the road have a screaming contest. It would never be published & wouldn’t be recognised in either edition of The Best Australian Poetry. Yet I want to write this poem because although I don’t think of you every day or even every week – there are others who knew you better & feel your absence more keenly – I know it’s the kind of poem you’d like & I want to thank you. For that time I rang you in the middle of the night raving about my father & you told me to light a candle, say goodbye, then blow it out. Thank you for showing that these small tasks can be enough & that it’s okay to write a poem slowly, especially one about family. Elizabeth Allen is a Sydney poet and bookseller. She also works for Vagabond Press and is undertaking a Masters of Teaching (Primary) at the University of Sydney part-time. She is the author of Forgetful Hands (Vagabond Press, 2005) and body language (forthcoming in 2011). © Elizabeth Allen Overland 204-spring 2011, p. 122 Like this piece? Subscribe! Elizabeth Allen Elizabeth Allen is a poet and short story writer based in Sydney where she also works as a bookseller at Gleebooks. Her work has found frequent publication in well-respected journals and anthologies both in Australia and overseas, including Cordite, Ajar, Bodega, Overland, Southerly, Meanjin, Australian Book Review, and SAND. The author of two poetry collections, Body Language (Vagabond Press, 2012) and Present (Vagabond Press, 2017), Elizabeth won the Dame Leonie Kramer Prize in 2001 and the Anne Elder Award in 2012. More by Elizabeth Allen › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 10 November 202311 November 2023 · Subscriberthon 2023 On the final day of Subscriberthon, Overland’s most important members get to have their say Editorial Team BORIS A quick guide to another year of Overland, from your trusty feline, Boris. I liked the ginger cat story, though it made my human cry. I liked the talking cat, too, but I’m definitely in the “not wasting my time learning to talk” camp. But reading is good. And writing is fun, though it’s been challenging […] 1 First published in Overland Issue 228 9 November 20239 November 2023 · Subscriberthon 2023 On the second-last day of Subscriberthon, Overland’s co-chief editor Evelyn Araluen speaks truth to power Editorial Team To my friends and comrades, I’m not sure if there’s language to communicate how this last month has utterly changed me. This time a few weeks ago the busyness and chaos of bricolage arts and academic labour had so efficiently distracted me from my anxiety about the upcoming referendum that I forgot to prepare myself for its inevitable conclusion.