ballet
Type
Poetry

Gods of my youth

At night we leave the colony to go to the ballet:
Balanchine, mixed repertoire, Tchaikovsky.
It’s American Girl Night and the girls in pigtails and gingham
carry dolls in pigtails and gingham,
blondes with blondes, brunettes with brunettes.
On stage the corps dances the garlands,
such unison, such unison, while with poise
and grace back in Perth my sister slowly bleeds out
the last of what would’ve been a baby
and at intermission I text her.

On stage the man lifts the woman above his head
the girls and the dolls gasp and sigh
and I hear my country roar inside me.

It’s important to have control.

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Caitlin Maling is a WA poet whose first collection, Conversations I’ve Never Had, was published in 2015. A follow-up collection is due in 2017.

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