Published in Overland Issue 232 Spring 2018 Uncategorized Her eyes | Co-winner, PEN Mildura Indigenous Writers Award Maya Hodge Eyes wide and clear, stare back at me. She is so young, who could have foreseen? Dreams like memories, are tools of reflection. They bring forth notions, which are often deflected. In her eyes I did see, old remnants of memory. Long forgotten over the years, almost like a reverie. Of times where problems were not of concern, where parents coddled and absorbed. Absorbed the often sad truths of life, which are frighteningly prickly and barbed. Times of imaginary worlds, of climbing to the tops of trees. Eating sweet figs from these trees, and gazing into the beyond carefree. As I stared and stared into her eyes, I began to slowly realise. How exquisite her childhood was, before burdens allowed her to capsize. This child will grow to the lull of Norah Jones, drifting about the house as if a chant. Singing words like an artist wielding a brush, her words like rain on a dry plant. Her mother a steadfast rock, the warmth of her hugs reassuring. Her sadness leached into her own, though with this her endurance. The colour of her skin, like a bright beacon. It is what sets her a part, and will ensure she will not weaken. All this I saw as I stared and stared into her eyes, she looked and looked into mine. As I smiled she smiled too, this young girl with Lardil bloodlines. She was me and I was her, her small face upturned. As I awoke I vowed to be just like her, and enjoy the small things of this world. We never know how much time we have, so do the things that bring us bliss. Care for one another, this Earth and our health, and be sure to love like a tender kiss. Through the window of her soul, I saw what we each possess. A child’s heart is not feeble, which we all try to suppress. Image: Figs / Bronwyn Quilliam Read the rest of Overland 232 If you enjoyed this poem, buy the issue Or subscribe and receive four outstanding issues for a year Maya Hodge Maya Hodge is a second year art history and curating student at Monash University. Maya grew up in Mildura and moved to Melbourne in order to study. She is a joint recipient of the Mildura Indigenous Writers Award (2017) and continues to write in her spare time. More by Maya Hodge 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 24 March 202324 March 2023 War Conga line to Armageddon: the rush to get us into a war with China Ben Brooker It shouldn’t need spelling out that Australia could not win a war with China in any sense that matters, even with the backing of the US and its allies. At best, such a victory would be a Pyrrhic one. At worst, we would be so utterly humiliated as to not even know what kind of defeat had been inflicted upon us. First published in Overland Issue 228 23 March 2023 Trans rights Why gender essentialism is a white supremacist ideology Maddison Stoff The idea that these neo-Nazis are just ‘cosplayers’, rather than the local version of an international and decades-long attempt by numerous lone wolves and paramilitary groups to seize control of multiple countries, is too dangerous to seriously contemplate. The better question might be: why do so many anti-trans rights activists, who often see themselves as left-wing or self-describe as feminists, tolerate or downplay the presence of Nazis in their circles? And, just as importantly, why do neo-Nazis show up to support them?