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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Special Australian Edition August 2023
Carried, poem by Geraldine Mills.
Someone is saying a prayer for me this day.
Somewhere a palm opens to receive
the bread and offers it up for me.
A jar of honey arrives through the post, intact,
as if delivered by the bees themselves.
Outside my window a skying pavane of hope, of feather,
speedwell sprigging along the thin soil.
In Kylemore and La Cartuja, the nuns sing
my name into their psalms,
candles in Chartres send steadying flames my way.
Someone somewhere makes fennel soup,
sends Hadji Bey’s Delight from the English Market,
the holy oil of smile, word, card,
scarlet fringed tulips, orchids,
April teaching me about myself.
The hare comes every day. Looks
towards me through the high grass.
before he shape-shifts
into Mike Healy’s field.
Somewhere a woman takes up a crochet hook, thread,
works her own faith into every coloured stitch,
a mantle for my shoulders,
socks of possum fibres,
a necessary hat for my naked head.
I could not know till this
how a person can be carried,
can be borne by the grace of a settling hand,
a message with the sound of the dawn sea.
A good belly laugh that could split stitches.
And now this day,
as your constant arms guide
me across our living-room floor
to the music of Piazzolla’s Oblivion,
all these gifts I pass back through my heart:
recalling when I was wheeled into
the operating theatre, there was more
blue sky from the three windows
than I ever expected. More
than I ever thought possible.
© Geraldine Mills
Geraldine Mills has published five collections of poetry, three of short stories and two children’s novels. Her most recent publication is her sixth poetry collection, New and Selected: When the Light, which is forthcoming from Arlen House in August.