Poem – Jan Hutchison

The long sleep is over

when this child comes to stay.
The house thinks spring is here
for ever. It stretches its arms out to

the sky and windows and doors
breathe gulps of rushing air.
You can hear the heart of the house

beating in each room. Everyone listens.
And the child claps her feet on bare
boards and flies down passages

and steps. Her feet wink at walls
run green laps in and out of trees
and we see the grass is waving to us.

When this child comes to stay
inside and outside change hands.
She decorates the front path with

shiny pans and piles stones at
the back of dusty cupboards and under
chairs. Eyebrows of sand glint

across the kitchen floor and the cat
jumps from his armchair bed. He dozes
on the bonnet of the car with one eye open.

But we, who have been alone, wake up.
Wake from verandas of dreaming where
we hid in the dark. Look! Light is swarming

on edges of roofs. We stand high on our toes
our fingers catch streamers of sun keep time
with cicadas’ conversations for right now
this child is humming past


Jan Hutchison

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