they have automated parking gates
at the westfield shoppingtown now. mum likes
to hold her ticket
up to the machine after she’s paid and watch
the gate open up for her; she reckons
it makes her feel like a vip. that’s what i like
about this place, mum says: it’s for
everybody, places like this are
for everybody and i
go with her a week before xmas and the
air conditioning is violent and the
goosebumps stand up on my bare skin
as tho they are responding to the stirring
kate ceberano rendition of “little drummer
boy” that is pumping thru the
mall like an air supply. i see
that all the shoppers are women pushing prams,
their babies sharing space with long tubes of
gift wrap covered in snowmen and
pine trees and other markers of a season
we are not currently having.
Emma Marie Jones is a Melbourne-based poet and writer. Her short fiction, poems and essays have appeared in SPOOK, Seizure, The Lifted Brow, Meanjin, Stilts and the Suburban Review, and in 2015 she was shortlisted for the Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers. She tweets at @emmacones.
Image by Paul Davidson.