September 2017

Back to Issue 2

My Brother’s House

By Maree Reedman


From where I stand,

my brother’s house

is across a lake

where black swans glide

and gasping trout die.

He works in the flour mill

beyond his back gate

grass parrots feast in the walnut trees.


Even in summer, condensation cobwebs the corners

of his kitchen window.

In his bedroom, a black-and-white-photo of my mother

and his father with Technicolour cheeks,

they smile for the camera

wearing wedding finery

stepping into a Ford

and the briefest of marriages.


He shows me a packet of mothballs

he sprinkles in every room,

the seductive smell of nostalgia.

When my mother visited,

she said, Oh Son!

Don’t you know that’s poison?