First Voices

You would wait in that dark room
for the dawn to create geometric shapes.

You would wait for each square, rectangle,
to mould a door, a wardrobe, a chair.

You would wait for the chest-of-drawers
to colour cream with brass handles.

You would wait for a silhouette to fashion
a lamp with a gold fringe; a book alongside.

You would wait for curtains to flower lilac,
for light to seep through linen weave.

You would wait for a chink to streak
down a mirror; a hairbrush would appear.

You would wait for furry caterpillars to flow
as wavy blue lines of candlewick bedspread.

You would stretch out your legs;
soft toys at the foot of the bed would shuffle.

You would wait for first voices in the house.

Carolyn Abbs (Western Australia)

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