poem | Ann Vickery

What if Persephone remained a hard woman?
An ethics of care turned towards oneself. Love’s
harvest, the halves of intimacy in these latitudes.
A climate of change revealed as cycle of constant
return, how to reconcile, farm my inadequacy
for yours or simply distract. Let’s just say
for argument’s sake, let’s just say
pugilism is always political, platforms cropping hay,
the field of absolutes you might travel to.
I distil the brackish dark, listen low over the lees,
liar strings laid flush to decider core. Store
of regrets, bare-knuckled figs, a desire to fall foul.
Your rallying jig as jubilant plucked yew.
Cross-dressing Orpheus to your Eurydice,
I discover I want as a mode. To provoke
the strike back, for you to tell me that the light
is yours, and it is I who have disengaged song,
who must feel my way through the ever-burdened earth.
To be called a muffler, bobbing compliment.

Ann Vickery

Anny Vickery teaches at Deakin University. She is the author of Leaving Lines of Gender: A Feminist Genealogy of Language Writing and Stressing the Modern: Cultural Politics in Australian Women’s Poetry. She is also co-author of The Intimate Archive: Journeys through Private Papers and co-editor of Manifesting Australian Literary Feminisms: Nexus and Faultlines. She has published poetry in a range of national and international journals.

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