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Dani Netherclift (Deakin University, Australia)



I love you with the same
kind of blankness
I welcomed you into the world with

except that now it is mother love
filled also with this knowing—
seven years’ worth

thick folders filled
with things that I never knew
I would need

and still you haven’t said
I love you, Mama.
(you don’t hold those kinds of words)

you make me want
to silence the world for a while
so that it might listen and see

that maybe
you don’t need words
to say I love you,

At night I dream of folding
us into origami boats
that sail back and forth

carrying cargoes
elucidating love
in some other kind of language

something silent, light enough to
slip through harbours
with no need for ballast.



Dani Netherclift has recently been published in Mascara Literary Review/e/merge Magazine, Otoliths, Meanjin, Cordite Poetry Review, and on an Adelaide street via Raining Poetry in Adelaide. She was the winner of the Queenscliffe Literary Festival’s 2020 Micro Fiction Competition, and she cried on stage reading ‘Vessels’ on a stage on the day that she wrote the first draft.

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