Written in response to this month's Special Challenge.
What Those in the Photos on the Walls SeeNo-one sees what Mary holds in her arms in the dining room where days blend with oak table and sideboard and a white mantelpiece displays family trinkets from distant holidays. She stares at the painting above her as if saying where will my help come from? Mary’s bored as a brick in a wall her children out of sight and earshot in a household that reflects all-is-well. Mary’s much younger than her husband who sits in his favourite unwind-chair enjoying a lordly cigar after work and whiskey from a tall glass tumbler as he asks what she’s been up to while he laboured at the stock exchange. He doesn’t tell her about lunch with Ellie McBride at Hornet’s Nest — which Mary avoids when she and Ernest O’Neill have after-tennis drinks and her boys are at soccer club — on Sundays they all go to the same church.
Martha Landman is a South Australian poet and a previous contributor to Nine Muses.