Inside the hush of the old room, our bodies flatten, spread over familiar furniture. Belonging has settled in. Nothing has changed. We sink with the last of the winter sun. Wonder if remembering the past will move us on. Familiar objects claim their place in this time before light blurs all recognition. Everyone turns to the empty grate. The mirror above offers a momentary distraction. Everything has settled into place as we start the new game. Look for new alliances, for past manoeuvrers to begin, old anxieties to set in. A glance slides sideways. Envy sits at the edge of a smile. Strange how death can draw a family together, change the momentum. Threaten the way forward. Thoughts drift to dues, entitlements. Formality and patience necessary partners in a space breathless with expectation.
Brenda Saunders is a writer and artist of Wiradjuri and British descent. Her third collection Inland Sea is due for publication in 2021. Her work appears in anthologies and journals including Australian Poetry, Quadrant, Southerly, Overland, Westerly and Plumwood Mountain. Brenda won the 2018 Joanne Burns Award for her prose poem ‘Birding’ (Shuffle Anthology, Spineless Wonders).