Big arms

Plenty of room for an ample bum in these injection-moulded chairs
we know from barbecues and marquees, draped in white

like tipsy debutantes. Dry and comfy, we watch our playful, dogged
or scared miserable kids chug up and down with kickboards.

When you love swimming, what is it you love? Water’s cling, its fascinating slop
the looming, alluring deep end, blue and grey feeling of early

your feet and knees, not how they look, what they can do, the funny sideways
competitive friendships, lollies, the warm car that takes you home?

Let’s pull my chair a little over the raggedy finish of the concrete
hardly even lifting my tired feet, a pleasure to sit after a morning

picking up pyjamas, buttering toast, brushing nightwild hair.
Resettle off-kilter and one leg of this ugly, useful, perfectly

replaceable chair drags like the battered hoof of a ruminant
content to flock among the mums and dads and grannies

their tired, enraptured faces watching unrepeatable children
outstretched arms, thrashing legs, learning to kick kick kick kick kick.

Ali Jane Smith


Ali Jane Smith is a poet. She lives in Wollongong.

© 2017