One Poem by Martha Landman

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

Projections of a Suspicious Mind

after Behind the Scenes, Pierre Dubreuil, 1902

In a half-lit backroom
away from the exit
a man in black Callahan coat
with his back to the door
                hatted head slightly bowed
                hand in pocket
                urinal stance
chats up the ballerina
who makes ready for the stage
or has just performed
and needed to clear her head

on her own
unable to read his face
she’ll have to think straight
talk her way out
he might be the cellist
or the conductor
telling her this was his last show
he might be innocent
someone’s father or husband
her face appears relaxed enough
                but this doesn’t look good


Martha Landman writes in South Australia and is a member of the Friendly Street Poets. Her chapbook, Between Us, was published by Ginninderra Press. She has previously contributed to Nine Muses Poetry.

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