March 2023

Back to Issue 13

In the Garden

By Marcelle Freiman


After The Expulsion by Arthur Boyd, 1947-8


In the garden Kurrawongs wait,  

the night peels back our skin,  

we are vulnerable as oysters,  

our thin thighs and china skin  

scratched by eucalypt strips,     

without leaf of fig nor story  

we have only our audacious desire. 


Nights and days of our thin lives   

we long for warmth of touch –  

here we are measured  

for our fallibility, our bodies 

fail us over and again,  

we cover our faces, 

break like brittle twigs.  


The kingfisher turns to the grey sky, 

feathered to launch 

its fragile, heavy body.