by Louise Wakeling
It’s a day for purging, standing on a stepladder throwing old sheets over her shoulder like salt for good luck. Smart thinking, offloading her surplus to charity bins, death-cleaning in a crisis, knowing she’s shaken by a micron smaller than a human hair Time on her hands, or is it end-time, muddled by enforced inertia anxiety seeping in - some call it ‘working from home’ - she’s glad to be doing something while not mixing, so she pours the Chambord down the sink, the whole fat-bellied bottle, every last drop watches it swirl, the colour of blood, black raspberries infused with Madagascan vanilla blackcurrant and cognac. Order. Something predictable. Now she reads that Chambord is meant for cocktails, a base ingredient for a Grateful Dead or Purple Hooter Shooter - has she squandered yet another opportunity? Outside, pale morning. Everything’s moving, waving, straining at the leash. The elements of her day are layered, floating on top of one another: pound the keyboard, plant bok choy, pour sambucca over ice. Whatever it takes. A twist of lime a shot in the dark out of these she builds her day
Louise Wakeling is a poet and teacher who lives in the Blue Mountains. Her first novel was Saturn Return (Allen and Unwin, 1990), and she is currently working on a second novel exploring family dysfunction in the 1950s-70s. Her third poetry collection, Paragliding in a war zone, was published by Puncher & Wattmann (2008), and her fourth, Off Limits,has been accepted for publication in 2020. Wakeling’s work has been published widely, including in Antipodes (2011), Contemporary Australian Poetry (2016), Caring for Country (2017) and Wild Voices: An anthology on wildlife issues (2019).