The first house I owned was in my nan’s back garden. Claimed
maybe better, because no one else—nan, my brother or mum—
wanted to know about the spiders and their secrets, dust-dark
corners where worlds waited, the still, lifeless air. It used to be
blue but the timber took it back, as though colour was some
alien thing. The sliding doors always stuck, having gained weight
from lack of use, and the cloy of sunburnt wood made my eyes
water, daring me to stay more than a few minutes, which I did,
hours in fact, to escape in my head where a boy was falling
in love with a girl. Much of my teenage angst was spent there
—writing, thinking, longing, needing—looking out onto tidy grass,
careful flowers, full, quiet fields, that had never known such want,
what dreams were for.
J V Birch lives in Adelaide. Her poetry has been published in anthologies, journals and magazines across Australia, the UK, Canada and the US. She has three chapbooks with Ginninderra Press – Smashed glass at midnight, What the water & moon gave me and A bellyful of roses (poems about endometriosis) – and a full-length collection, more than here. She is currently developing her next and blogs (occasionally) at www.jvbirch.com.