I touch the scar on my chin and I am
back at Chadstone shopping centre, 1962.
I pass the un-fun fair in the basement (little boats,
the clown, a coin for a dance) endlessly out of reach.
In the childcare centre down a twisting corridor
it is always nap time except just
before the mothers return:
a wedge of fresh sharp orange.
Outside I lie on the grass and gaze up
at the radio station like a space ship.
And in Downy-Flakes-Donuts
we get to keep the placemats with the poem!
(As you ramble on through life…) And yet
it is the tantalising space (whatever
be your goal) with the wrought iron fence
to the floors below
where I smash my face
against the concrete edging.
(Keep your eye upon the donut!)
Much blood and panic. (Where is her mother?)
(My sister is explaining hard about the lost keys.)
(Two days before Xmas. No one has time for this!)
(Not upon the hole!) Then the scented lady in Myers
rests me down on a narrow white bed
and brings me a doctor
who embroiders a row of black stitches
along the edge of my skin. (Eye upon the donut!)
A week later, I cry when I wake to find them gone.
Taken in the night by a pair of scissors.
Why are you crying now? everyone laughs.
You didn’t even feel it.