One Poem by Martha Landman

Dear John

I wasn’t a romantic
the way you wanted me to be.

I enjoyed the desert nights, cold stars
our backward race away from an elephant herd
wild beasts on the African plains
every fight a red pin on a travel map
in Sri Lanka we watched cricket and blockbusters all night.

The cold had suddenly crept in from the south.
It was a day to stay inside and clean the shelves
— memories in every corner
how you loved those girls in front of my eyes
whispered sweetness in their ears.

Dreaming of Greek goddesses and writhing snakes
I woke up one day to a stranger in my bed
his body bleak and unsalty
the king-size bed suddenly too small
clouds visible through half-drawn curtains
the rain fell softly against the window
when I stepped away, sailboats in the distance.

I haven’t thought of you for a while
today my walk was more in tune
the birds flew higher, their wings flapped calmer
there was a platypus at the bridge
the smell of Jasmine softened the air.


Martha Landman writes in Adelaide, Australia. Her work has appeared online and in print in US, UK, Australia and South Africa.

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