I Am A Stranger

I turn up stony faced like the creek
my suitcase open all the clothes falling
the cattle do not know what to make of this
they ask what country I am from
what place has allowed me to walk
with everything spilling like this?
They smell the eternal solitude of dry land.
My ancestors from the Hungarian hills
made seeded bread in the sun.
Here there is no ice there is no frost
my clothes spin endlessly over the paddocks.
I breathe the twisted gums of this new blue world
while my mother dreams of me.

Christine Paice


Christine Paice is a poet and writer. She has published two poetry collections, Mad Oaks and Staring at the Aral Sea (Ginninderra Press 2003 and 2008), and a children’s book, The Great Rock Whale (Hachette Australia 2009 ). She was winner of the Josephine Ulrick Award for poetry in 2009 with The Ministry of Going In. Her poem, ‘The Quality of Light’, was shortlisted for the Blake Poetry Prize 2013. Christine’s debut adult fiction novel, The Word Ghost, was published by Allen & Unwin in 2014.

© 2018