From a faded couch


It's funny how he can carry the music
out of the room
and up the hallway ...
Maybe intimacy got lost
amidst the swirls in our carpet ...
Maybe he's upset
because I haven't vacuumed
and he's mowed,
decapitating grass all over the place -
with me inside, watching the remains
chase the mower until it stopped.
Is it the dishes in the sink
and on the bench
and beside the couch on this damn carpet?
Are we lacking discourse or
inspired intercourse
or the hello-goodbye kisses we long-ago
repudiated as robotic?
It's like our touch is now glove-buffered
and the tea we make each other is each time weaker ...
At the hearth there are two pairs of shoes
drying by the fire for the eighth day.


Susan Austin grew up in Queensland and has settled in Hobart where she writes poetry in between working as an occupational therapist and being an eco-socialist activist. She has published poetry in various newspapers, journals and anthologies. She has won prizes in several FAW (Tas) poetry competitions, and was the judge of the 2012 WILPF Eve Masterman Peace Poetry Prize. Susan has been a featured reader in many events including the Hobart Republic Readings, The Tasmanian Living Writers' Week and the 2011 Tasmanian Poetry Festival. The poem 'Bookshop capers' appeared in famous reporter 43, and in Susan's collection Undertow (Walleah Press, October 2012). She blogs at