Published in Overland Issue 207 Winter 2012 Uncategorized Islands Andy Quan I am sleeping tonight side by side with my mother on spring and feather, matching queen-sized mattresses, in the adjoining room my brother and his family. We’ve escaped Vancouver where father has died for Victoria’s quaint tea and saucers, halibut and chips, cream-filled chocolates, Salish art, a visit to eldest brother’s duplex, parks for the grandkids to run free. Distract us. Today, I leveraged grief for a table at a packed restaurant. How long can we get away with that? Mom ponders. Now, she surprises me, channel- surfing: CSI New York, Evening News. Rest is all I want, the narrow corridor between our beds, thirty-five years between us, our islands of sorrow barely visible to each other but I understand my role as company, as witness. Andy Quan Andy Quan is the author of four books, including two books of poetry, the most recent of which is Bowling Pin Fire. He has lived in Sydney since 1999 where he edits, writes, cycles, facebooks, watches reality TV cooking shows and coaxes rainbow lorikeets to his balcony. Visit him here at www.andyquan.com. More by Andy Quan 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 27 January 2023 Cartoons In attacking us, they bring us together Sam Wallman 'What these bosses don't understand is that in attacking us, they bring us together.' (Paddy Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Svitzer Rally November 2022) 2 First published in Overland Issue 228 24 January 202325 January 2023 Politics The end of the politics of care Giovanni Tiso The daily spectacle of televised briefings was not unique to New Zealand, and it may simply be the case that Ardern thrived when given the opportunity to speak to the public directly—in other words, that she was better than others at it. Alternatively, we could say that her rhetoric found in the pandemic the ground on which to turn into concrete action. Either way, the benefits we derived in terms of lives saved from the remarkable extension of that social license are literally incalculable.