MiNDFOOD Poem: Blue Sports Coupé

By Jena Woodhouse5

MiNDFOOD Poem: Blue Sports Coupé

Then there was the man

who drove the pale blue sports coupé,

who’d pull in to the kerb

on that debilitating hill,

where it was almost more

than I could bear to carry you –

hungry for closer contact

on the way to child care as you were,

resisting the impending separation

at the all-day crèche – and just as arms

and lungs approached an agonising

pitch of stress, he’d pull in to the kerb:

tweed cap, a beard, a smile, très debonair.

Without turning a hair, although

we must have looked incongruous,

he’d drop us at the crèche

and then glide off towards that private

school for boys, an English master

in the guise of new-age errant knight.

We never learned each other’s names.

The stranger’s unexpected kindness,

my relief at being spared from carrying

your weight uphill, remained our sole

exchange, at once ephemeral, indelible:

moments when the burden of lone

parenthood was shared. 

Jena Woodhouse

Brisbane, Qld

Our winning poem

Jena says: “At the time recalled in this poem, I was working and studying and my daughter was in childcare so regrettably, we didn’t have much time together. I’d been very ill with eclampsia, in a coma for five days, while my daughter, born two months prematurely, also survived by what seemed like a miracle. So while we lived precariously, there was no time or energy to contemplate that fact. We survived. The gleaming sports car from another world, with its kindly driver, was like an apparition from a contemporary fairytale.”


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