Tending by Eileen Chong

By Wasafiri Editor on September 13, 2021 in Poetry


A weed: un wanted plant
in mimicry of its surrounds

               Bare-armed women
               sluice dead matter down drains 

Horsehair broom bristles
affixed with horse glue 

               An eye discerns
               one un like the others 

Grass grows above 
iron, towards light 

               Even leaves
               have teeth 



               Even leaves
               have teeth 

Grass roots 
regenerate blades 

                Break in
                crazed patterns 

Herds stamp wild 
as wind through blood 

               My mother’s dark 
               hair an un bound river 

Under growth: persist
skyward; sun-memory 


Eileen Chong is a poet and the author of nine books. Her latest collection is A Thousand Crimson Blooms from the University of Queensland Press, Australia. Her work has been shortlisted for many awards and prizes, including twice for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award. She lives and works on unceded Gadigal land of the Eora Nation.

Photo by Samuel Austin on Unsplash