poetry pf header


home>poets>Jane Fraser Esson

Jane Fraser Esson (            - 2013)     about Jane      more poems



home button poets button features button

links button shop button about ppf button email ppf button




published in Acumen, May 2005


Pearl Harbour


Now, after all these years, I’m coming to

the cottage gate once more, feeling the wood’s

roughness.  The sun is hot on my skin.  

It’s December — scarlet gum trees are blazening

as I climb up the untidy garden track.


I reach the top, see the house again.

There’s a kingfisher perched on the telegraph wires:

glitter of blue-green, gold breast, he watches.

Through the kitchen window I can see my Mother—

the radio’s playing, sun scorches the window frames.


Sweat trickles down my forehead, my eyes are stinging;

there’s an uncanny stillness in the noonday air.

The radio announcer’s voice seems to echo

as I stare at my Mother, standing at the window.

Suddenly she shouts, rushes out into the garden.


Her voice quavers, she drops the kitchen knife;

sunlight shines on the blade — I shrink from its flash.

Sweat from my forehead drenches, stings my eyes.

I glance at the gum trees, their carmine flourish like blood.

The kingfisher flies away, I’m facing my Mother.


It’s as if I’m standing before some terrible gateway—

I pass through the gate, leaving my childhood behind.

The holiday’s done, the appalling future looms;

the gum trees seem to be bleeding in this furnace,

the sky whitens, lit by the blinding sun.


Jane Fraser Esson



Jane Fraser Esson photo

request contact with Executor

and in the shop:

in anthology,
"In the Company of Poets"
Hearing Eye Press


© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet
site feedback welcome