Those people in metros in places with names you can’t properly pronounce
They tether their cats and babies to their bodies hold their plastic bags in tight fists Their faces sometimes poised often resigned, possibly haunted Though perhaps the haunting is your own invention Because you see them as if from another time—that other place Like the child with her arms in the air surrendering Why would anyone do that to a child of three you ask yourself? As if you were in that other place that other time—not this now You think about those people, the women with their names like Maria, Olga And Ania—your lost original name how you might be one of them But it’s all too close to the enigma that you recognise as your mother Who emerged from somewhere there in much the same way A child in the snow with her arms in the air
Ann Shenfield works across a range of media. Her poems have received various awards including the Judith Wright Poetry Prize for her book You Can Get Only So Close On Google Earth( Arcadia). Her new poetry collection A Treatment will be published by Upswell in 2023. Ann’s animated films have also received various prizes and have screened at numerous festivals including selection to the Official Competition at the Berlin International Film Festival.