Academic journal article Hecate

Becoming Woman

Academic journal article Hecate

Becoming Woman

Article excerpt

i

I write myself on the page

not as the universal `I', but `woman'

padding the tide's morning surf.

a camera lucida of memory catches Broken Bay

in the earnest scurry of soldier crabs, the whoop of rod line

and sinker, rows of paddleboats, dinghies upturned

metres from a young girl/becoming woman.

on the bow of a boat, she ripples film into surface water

tilts the cabin's channel observance

before diving in

ii

she is woman now, remembering the real

that-has-been before the lens, first crack in the sepia edges

of an Ettalong shore, pylon cling of a Wagstaff ferry

its fluxive rub, seagulls shouldering flag-line

their white calligraphy of tarp.

silent beach empty as a lonely dune

waits for the first child out of school

waits for the ringed plunge of blood worms

summer's shifting canoe.

only the bay gives out a different call

when the seaweed's parted and a fisherman casts

an angry fist, buries the globe of his belly in water

iii

while ratcheting his dinghy

there is no need for the ebb and flow of his outrage

when there are machinations of a better catch, bay offering

the martini of her sex, olive flesh, oblique lip, the aftermath

of radio silence, channel marker showing signs

of deeper water to come, inlet anchoring ideas

into a dark grid of trees, barnacled shore

iv

there on that sea the boat's voice erupts

churning silt into the engine's memory

scuttling the gelatin-still surface, silver glide of whitebait. …

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