Day 11: Lanterns

Sarah writes poems

In the dim classroom,

sliding towards solstice,

translucent paper is

cut into coloured squares—

arranged slapdash by one half

while the other struggles for order.

The smell of white glue on the tressel table,

caked on children’s fingers,

hardened under uncut nails

for mums to scrub and curse tonight.

A piece of red crepe, drenched and discarded

streams across the white plain.

The teacher and her assistant

orbit in opposition

around the table and aprons—

cut shapes, recap felt-tip pens,

speak to disorder

as though words could smooth

the rough edges of our Christmas lanterns.

At last, lights raised,

we squint through the

kaleidoscopic glass,

and see our Christmas futures

slowly draw near.

Stuart Rawlinson is a British poet and musician, currently based in Brisbane, Australia. His poetry has been published in several publications including Black Bough Poetry, Nightingale and Sparrow, Wellington Street Review and Adelaide Literary Magazine.

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