Tuesday 22 November 2022

Two Poems by Bel Schenk


Some things go unnoticed, but then again others don’t


How easy you are.

You simply throw a patchwork blanket

on a dull saggy sofa to reveal


a spread from a hardcover.

The way you brush

the crumbs from your chest


like a strum of my guitar –

pitch perfect, a B chord.

You unbandage an orange in one roll.


The bitter pith you compost,

garnish cocktails with cellulite skin.

Slowly you pick my stiches,


unravel all of my scars.

If I wear thicker socks           

your shoes fit to my feet.

We wanted to be adults that spring


We wanted to be adults that spring.

I hid our freckles with powder, teased and sprayed your hair.

We walked a foot taller, spoke of current events

with a tone that was so in the know. I borrowed all opinions.

You explained how to use a liner to draw fleshy lips on my skin,

and mine looked real plump until your mum made us line our stomachs

with bread and peanut butter, and my appetite smudged the pink.

She told us dancing at fifteen is an invitation to be anything,

and also; that anyone will watch,

and to water down our drinks, and by doing that

we could have the latest of curfews and remember the things that matter.

She held my gaze and I thought she noticed my lip,

and if she did, she said nothing about it at all,

except we should check the mirror before we left for the party.

There was a pile of papers on the kitchen bench,

she eyed them, and then shrugged,

said her signature could wait yet one more day.

And when she dropped us on the corner of Simon’s street

she idled the car as we walked to his house,

and I noticed she turned the headlights to high beam,

just when I needed the spotlight on anything but me.

Bel Schenk is the author of three poetry collections - Urban Squeeze (Ginninderra Press, 2003), Ambulances & Dreamers (Wakefield Press, 2008) and Every Time You Close Your Eyes (Wakefield Press, 2014). She has been published in various journals and magazines both in Australia and overseas. 


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