Sheena Blackhall

Gold Star - 6,698 Points (18/8/1947 / Aberdeen)

The Pulley - Poem by Sheena Blackhall

I sat at the open door, Pocahontas of the porch,
Wearing my broth-plucked feathers. My mother
Was hanging the washing over the pulley.

The rope snapped with a twang, the wooden spar
Cracked on her skull like a cricket bat on a ball

She lay in her washday pinnie, Woolworth’s best,
Cheap and flowery cotton, one slipper off,
Her eyes sealed tight together like a dead bird’s beak.

A grey wet sock slumped over the berry pan
That still boiled on,
Oblivious to this small domestic disaster

Time froze, or I froze it. Ma’s perm
Was corrugated iron wearing a red rose
Who’d pot the jam if she didn’t rise
Like Lazarus off the lino?

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, February 14, 2010

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