Published in Overland Issue 239 Winter 2020 · Poetry 2019 Oodgeroo Noonuccal winner: Black child Jeanine Leane Black child — born deviant from norms of western culture. Dispossessed like a refugee in a sea of white divisiveness where cognitive capabilities are measured on a colour scale according to my phenotypic reality. My Blackness — marked already by your history. So much so that you know all about me before I am even born. Black child — thwarted by ingrained white perception. My life not yet lived, but my existence already theorized by my Black skin. Black child — born already labelled — swimming from the womb against currents of conformity. Black cross in white box records my existence in the nation — statistically tracked from birth to death captive of the white square mentality. My Blackness — already confined by your colonial chains redefined by white rhetoric. Identity already ascribed from above by a raceless ruling elite. Read the rest of Overland 239 If you enjoyed this piece, buy the issue Or subscribe and receive four brilliant issues for a year Jeanine Leane Jeanine Leane is a Wiradjuri writer, poet and academic from southwest New South Wales. Her first volume of poetry, Dark Secrets After Dreaming: A.D. 1887-1961 (2010, Presspress) won the Scanlon Prize for Indigenous Poetry, and her first novel, Purple Threads (UQP), won the David Unaipon Award for an unpublished Indigenous writer. She has a PhD in Australian literature and Aboriginal representation. Her poetry and short stories have been published in Hecate, The Journal for the Association European Studies of Australia, Australian Poetry Journal, Antipodes, Overland and the Australian Book Review. Jeanine has published widely in the area of Aboriginal literature, writing otherness and creative non-fiction and is the recipient of an Australia Research Council Grant on Aboriginal literature. She teaches Creative Writing and Aboriginal Literature at the University of Melbourne. Her second volume of poetry, Walk Back Over was released in 2018 by Cordite Press. More by Jeanine Leane › 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 3 November 20233 November 2023 · Poetry our neighbours poem Ender Başkan our neighbours face appears above the fence – hello. our neighbours have a chat with us. our neighbours learn our names. our neighbours become our friends. our neighbours landlord thinks the market is ripe. our neighbours are told to leave. our neighbours try to buy their house at an exorbitant price to keep their kids in the school zone. our neighbours are denied. First published in Overland Issue 228 25 October 202325 October 2023 · Poetry The inhabitants Elif Sezen I died today, among many others, my grandpa died too, and our neighbours, / my best friend, the one with braided hair yes, and our sweet sweet doctors, / our motherly nurses... We heard a blast, then a whoosh of some kind, / and all gone.