She sprays blue chemicals
across glossy black tables,
wipes stainless steel chairs,
brief roosting spots
for the migratory flocks
of pudgy pigeon-people.

She wipes the surfaces clean
again and again and yet again
through the sluggish hours.
She shifts the mess as
she shifts her small weight
on dreamless feet.

But her eyes are dreaming
of the fragrant joy of frangipani blossom
her skin is yearning for the brush of soft sarongs
and air which knows ocean and sunlight,
while her slim brown fingers,
strait-jacketed in pungent rubber,
long for the smooth feel of fish
fresh-caught from the warm seas of home.

© Gina Mercer

Peter Macrow,
Tasmanian Times Poetry Editor.
Tasmanian poets or those with a Tasmanian link are invited to send up to 5 poems which have not appeared previously in print or electronic media to:
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For the complete collection, click here: Poetry, Peter Macrow




An Indonesian woman,
limbs as slight and agile as a sand-dotterel,
sweeps an acne of crumbs, oily butter wrappers,
soggy napkins and skittish sugar-papers
into her plastic-lined bucket.