Elly McDonald


Patient (1984)

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He thinks he recognises her

the smile slips out before he realises

this stranger, fleshed with her features, has borrowed

her body and sits in challenge

there, across his bacon and eggs

her breath between them

lips moving cheerfully, over his coffee

eyes alight (a smart trick, that)

this routine relies

all normality depends – on his not revealing

he know the truth: the truth he knows

he will not betray

the smile freezes; she returns it


Author: Elly McDonald

Worked in the Australian rock music industry as a journalist and published widely as a poet before moving to London and spending the better part of a decade in advertising agencies. Returned to Australia and tried teaching, primarily teaching English to non-English speaking, newly-arrived refugees but also briefly as a high school classroom teacher. Has travelled Western Europe, North Africa, Russia, Northern India, East Asia, coastal USA, some Pacific Islands, and Australia.

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