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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 4, December 2018

Michelle Brock
Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia

Below the Surface

What right has she to privacy? She's a mother. She belongs to her children. They own her, worship her, but what do they really know?

budding elms she suckles
her newborn
a milk-drunk stranger
presses against her heart

Buried deep in her underwear drawer, there's a photograph of the young man she could have, perhaps should have . . . She keeps all her secrets there, out of sight, below the surface of her ordinary life. He had just enlisted when they met, so handsome in his army uniform. He put her on a pedestal, told her she was beautiful, made her feel like a queen.

It felt wrong. She'd already promised herself to a country boy who treated her like the normal person she knew she was.

At the very bottom of her underwear drawer there's a negligee—pink, the finest lawn with pintucks and hand-crocheted lace. She made it for her trousseau, when the man who became the father of her children was away fighting in the Second World War. She made it for the night and the person she thought she'd been waiting for.

in the punnet
she meant to plant
under a waxing moon



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