Libby Sommer: ‘Electioneering on the Mall’ and ‘A Refuge’

Electioneering on the Mall

Actually, I know which party
I will not be voting for.

I am a true blue Australian
hammered by our land of droughts
and flooding rains.

When it’s election
broadcast blackout time
I breathe a sigh of relief.

What? Please move so I can get by.
Yes, I know about early voting.
No, you won’t get me to

swing a different way.

Libby Sommer

A Refuge

Do you know, St Honoré Bakery,
your large black & white floor tiles
show the exact space for Social Distancing?
Your blackboard menu out front
flags passage to the shopping centre.
Surely sophisticated French indulgences
upstage all else inside,
your gateaux worthy of any Parisian patisserie:
flaky puff pastry, velvety cream,
bite-sized choux balls.

But where are you on Sunday mornings, St Honoré,
when the early cyclists ride past?
Your door is closed, your ovens unlit.
Here come gumboots & wet umbrellas
as we all live through wild weather
—back-to-back La Niñas—
and teachers from across the road arrive
in shoes with stiletto heels.

Don’t we all need a dry haven
from unrelenting winter storms?
East of the city, weather-eroded beaches
promise summer sunshine
for our light-deprived eyes.

As the ocean comes up to the land,
we hope these beaches don’t disappear.
There’s blue sky to wish for
in a gap in the clouds.
St Honoré, patron saint of bakers
& pastry cooks, I think I’m addicted to you.
I’m wondering, will your baking give
hope & warmth today?

Libby Sommer

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