Poems by Stefanie Bennett


Still the lamp burns. The lights
Of the other houses
Are asleep at this hour.

We are not set apart. It’s just
That fire
Has a job to do… and

Like philanthropists, we’re
Awake most nights
Because we have

This longing to see
The greys
And yellows – mingle.


My mother’s hair was white
Underneath the scheme of things.
Things grown out of recognition
– But that’s the way it was.

The last time I saw her
She’d taken her new shoes out walking.
Fine shoes they were. Brazilian leather.
They willed themselves back to me…

Most days she’d toil between
Sink and table. All the while
Whistling songs – those evergreens
The local radio station plays on demand.

Sometimes, she’d lapse into a silence
– Eerie it was. As if the thoughts
Had grown so loud the world
… Her world
Needed a protection only she knew how to give.

The potted palm and herb garden
Grew well to her unending care.
And I grew, and the Summers,
And the weeds beside the creek

– Then the songs grew less and the toiling slowed;
She’d taken to wandering way past midnight:
The white hair changed to another hue, it
Matched the sheen of Brazilian leather.

She’ll not come back though Summer’s here
Bringing strange new weeds to the garden.
She’ll not come back, I tell an opened door,
The white hair in the river-wind knows
The scheme of things.


Stefanie Bennett has published eighteen books of poetry and a novel. Of mixed ancestry [Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee] she was born in Townsville, Queensland, Australia in 1945. Stefanie’s latest poetry title ‘The Vanishing’ is due at year’s end, Publisher: Walleah Press.

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