INCIDENT IN AISLE 5
I was almost as tall as the shopping trolley,
I could see up and through its bars
to catch the slap of Mama’s hate
across Baba’s cheek.
What’s he done this time?
A question on loop.
Her purse was agape,
not one coin.
The trolley was a foolish promise
of fruit cups, Weetbix, raisin toast…
His cheeks were a permanent red,
genetic markers of so…so…
sorry, shoulders tilted to grovel,
if something came good.
She swiped my hand off the trolley,
zipped her bag shut and marched
down the aisle
without one look back.
He continued to search the floor
I knew she would leave
expecting me to follow,
I ran after her –
I did turn once
and saw a man
on his knees
between the Corn Flakes and the Milo
transfixed to that trodden floor.
WHEN THE HILL’S HOIST BECAME THE WISHING TREE
With a peg in her mouth,
Maroulla walks the circumference of the ‘clothes tree’
looks at each pillow case, sheet, table cloth, Taki’s singlet,
reminders of the white handkerchiefs
tied to the wishing-tree at Vasa.
When she was eight, she tried to reach the branch
with her hanky,
there was no-one there to hold her up,
she didn’t whisper her secret dream to the tree that day
and the next morning she left
stuffing her flag of surrender
into her suitcase.
Taki’s out for the day,
with her waving, white promises
she touches them one by one,
the pillow case, sheet, table cloth – his singlet.
She reaches and holds onto the bar
swings herself into the wind
at peace with spent wishes and dreams.
She is a flying stream of coral, rose and black
she is laughter spilling itself into the sun
she is the fragile wires of affection
she has come to know
Poetry by Angela Costi
About the contributor
Angela Costi (Ayyeliki Kosti) explores and interrogates intercultural existence. She has four poetry collections published by differing small presses. Her latest chapbook is 'Lost in Mid-Verse' (Owl Publishing)