Judith Wright Poetry Prize 2021 Third Place, stones

he asks to see each pill I take, a catalogue
blue|green and yellow|pink|tangerine
each one a promise, a spell: make my mother well

we lie on my bed and watch the birds, eyes leaf-green
somewhere between autumn and spring
I can’t move he cries I cry when he asks mama, did I break you?

I hang stones from my neck, he weighs them in his palm
whispers selenite feldspar quartz,
mineral compensation for an empty womb

my disappointment soothing as worn prayer beads
it’s his I kneel before, water daily;
the whetstone on which I sharpen my pain

now there’s nothing left to believe
just the scrat scrat of a wattlebird in the tree
sky the colour of my favourite old jeans—

I used to think that the world owed me.



This prize is made possible with the support of the Malcolm Robertson Foundation


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Lily Rupcic

Lily Rupcic is a creative writer who lives with chronic pain and disability on Peramangk land. She is passionate about poetry as a vessel for unravelling and becoming; writing is her bridge between intensely isolating, personal experiences and the outside world, an opening through which the invisible can be seen. She is a runner-up in the 2021 Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize.

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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