My fifth Autumn,
a season after Kristina’s birth,
in our beginnings home.
Her: asleep in my past room.
Me: loitering in the front yard,
craning over Mamine mokre ruze,
monitoring her kicks,
shifting less than our nameless goldfish.
Our ash shedding
zrele kajsije coloured leaves.
We’d hockey them into a central pile, me
with my plastic red rake and
Tata with his paint flaked,
only to hurtle through,
cast what we could clutch
to the sky, swirl round
a mi djeca čuč
u more listova.
Our balcony is beside a sun-blocking tree,
its leaves scrunched receipts
against our shoe storage drawers.
Kad roditelji nam dodju u gosti
they list stores that sell rakes and
impart advice on disposing green waste and
sip their caj od kamilice.
Winter-worn trees abound in Kings Domain
(our apartment buildings namesake)
down the street from the box we live in.
In four months of tenancy here
I’ve managed to get as far as the footpath
skirting street and park.
Reasons to hesitate:
1. food shucked, plastic stuck in grass
2. other people (communication)
3. a lack of povezana voda
4. not the right amount of familiarity to comfort
5. does one tree bring forth another?
6. da li jedna reka liči na drugu?
Walk far enough I’ll meet the Yarra again,
a body of sorts in itself – as much as we are
of vode ourselves, living.
Even on a sunny day the water is more brown
than blue or green and I wonder if the leaves,
soils, or we make it so.
Anita Solak is a multidisciplinary writer. She is currently participating in the Toolkits: Poetry program and completed a Bachelor of Creative Writing at RMIT and exchange at the University of Birmingham. Her poetry was published in e[strange]d, phantasmagoria, and The Journal. She is fascinated by prosody, languages, community, place, and memory.