things didn’t turn out: the nice house

a loving partner, being happy – her tone

her demeanour – a bleak past

her grey eyes lacked focus – she lived 

in deficit – unlovable, unworthy

inextricably bound to a nightmare 

run of abusive men – never enough 

on the plastic – you wonder how to regard 

this woman – for a moment your concentration 

drifts mirror-flash projection of your own 

solitary life so many miles from home – still 

only a tenuous belief in the value of existence 

the hour was up – she left, you had expected 

her to suggest a break from the sessions

you felt you had lost the thread – tricky business 

to balance the day’s ledger – but sleep 

replenishes your resilience, your courage

to rise again – to wander barefaced into 

a life that challenges & saddens you

but hopeful nonetheless, that the light

within grief – will be revealed. 

1 Poem By Frazer Mackay

Fraser Mackay’s work has appeared in various Australian literary journals and online. On occasion, he performs his work with his band ‘qua qua’. His fifth collection of poetry, The Sudden Quiet, was published by Ginninderra Press in 2020.

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