you’ve met someone new
he’s juicy, a sweet plum
then you bite hard
on the bitter pip
spit him out

stumble again
on that first rung

easier to run him through
with your guilt tipped sword

but what if you open
the box under the swirl
of bright skirts
find the faded photo
of you aged four
with that man

whose shadow hands
have partnered you
all these years

Annette Mullumby (Western Australia)

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