Lachryma: mother aria for a wet day in Oslo


Holding a baby would have been good today.
I had the urge to lullaby after the Krohg

His gold-framed wife suckling
the boy, telling stories of Nordic explorers,
magic reindeer, trolls that turn to rock.

I always loved you being sick. In a dream
you came back to me, five weeks old.
Everyone wanted to hold you.

I was anxious.
You started mouthing adult words
like a singer practising scales.

When you told me you were leaving home
for your new life in a foreign state, I looked
out from the hotel window; albino

Operahuset, glacial granite mimicking ice.
I watched you toboganning the slope
at Baw Baw. You were eight.

Raindrops melted the snow.


Julie Maclean is based on the Surf Coast, Victoria. In 2012 she was shortlisted for the Crashaw Prize - Salt Publishing UK - and PressPress chapbook prize, in 2010 the Whitmore Press Prize. Poetry and fiction appear in Southerly, Overland, Cordite and foam:e, Mslexia and other journals in the UK and Australia, featured in The Best Australian Poetry [UQP] and forthcoming in US journals Dogzplot and The Bond Street Review. She blogs at juliemacleanwriter.com. The poem 'Lachrymia: mother aria for a wet day in Oslo' appears in Famous Reporter 44.