Quarter acre

Alice Allan

 

We pay for heat, help love

wash, vacuum and surrender.

 

All I want to know is

why is this my problem?

 

No junk mail. No hawkers.

Do not ring bell. My children call.

 

We work hard.

We deserve.

 

Whatever the mountains

look like from the air—

if they’re icing sugar

or creamy teeth

 

I just don’t

need to know.

 

I measure safety

in the span between sirens

 

and in the distance

a scream carries.

 

What happens next

is

 

the motherly daphne

by the front door

 

spills her scent to the man

with the leaflets in the pram.

 

I just don’t

need to know

why its petals

look like teeth.

 

Alice Allan‘s poetry and reviews have been published in previous issues of Plumwood Mountain as well as in Cordite, Rabbit and Australian Book Review. She also records the weekly podcast Poetry Says.

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