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A Pain Around My Shoulders | Jill Jones

A Pain Around My Shoulders, as Ritual

I like the lawn’s yellow flowers

Lovely weeds, welcome!

I presume it’s seasonal


Happy grass

as shadows recede in morning

Make sure the gate catches

The way requires obstacles

and rusty handles

Everywhere time is

the passing passes

into the future, the past

not history that’s made

of what’s counted

rather than what’s dreamt

by everyone present

the magic elements

love and despair

awe and boredom

or simply that pain

around the shoulders

my own ritual like a brace

before gates and doors

Or repetitions

a sip of something else

the river’s metal

its spume and shade

its spawn and bloom

Jill Jones’ most recent books are Brink, Breaking the Days, shortlisted for the 2017 Kenneth Slessor Prize, and The Beautiful Anxiety, which won the 2015 Victorian Premiers’ Literary Award for Poetry. A new book, Viva the Real, is due from UQP in late 2018. Her work features in recent anthologies including Contemporary Australian Poetry and Contemporary Australian Feminist Poetry.

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