All evening spent under
The blue gaze of her eyes,
And the imported night-shade
Of a once fine satin.

The hop-scotch designed socks
She knitted in her nation’s colours:
Only three pair, that time,
Because of the talking…

‘It’s getting close to Winter
Over there,’ is what she said.
‘Always, someone’s at some front.’
Then – tiredly,

‘Always children. So cold. Threadbare.’

The needles were ridged. Twisted.
But they sufficed. Loyally
They’d worked many taut years.
‘Hands,’ she said. ‘My needles are hands.

You know! Extensions of the heart.’

She died, on a overcast day.
In Balmain it was.*
How many knew she lived?
Only the landlady and those

Who dig graves for paupers…
And I, and a Polish
Postman whose
Load has been lightened.

(*Balmain, a Sydney Suburb, NSW Australia)

Stefanie Bennett, ex-blues singer and musician, has published several books of poetry, a novel, and a libretto. She also worked with Arts Action For Peace. Of mixed ancestry [Irish/Italian/Paugussett-Shawnee] she was born in Australia in 1945. Read other articles by Stefanie.