Welcome to the Family


En route to the loo
train eyes to skirt
those guns
locked careful under poster blondes:
tanned breasts cupped soft
like war poetry
allusion lost
my lover’s slouch hat on the wall

Mother, sister, sister-in-law
opine undercurrent
bark laughter
Nanna’s mood hinged
on a bottle
Pa scrapes grease from hotplates
smile loose
food white
but my avocado salad

Grandkids leave
presents for the pool
Nanna says load ‘em
full o’ sugar send ‘em
back to Mum

but they are chlorine
pork roast bellied
they bleat scratch
they’re sore
too big to swaddle
loud limbs

I will clean
ceramic, teeth, knuckle crease
spread Aloe over cheekbones
wrong kind of rose
salt-full throat
My lover, can we go?

Sweat in the car
dog in the tray
your hand on my thigh
Merry Christmas
my pavlova was unnecessary




Jerri Hines is a writer and social worker from the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales. Having graduated from a BFA in Creative and Professional Writing at QUT, she is now based on the Fraser Coast in QLD, where three young boys are patiently teaching her how to be a step-mum. Her work has been published in The Blurb Magazine and Concrescence.

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