Near my home, two road signs make me smile each day…
so I wrote poem for each of them:
Tracking tidily across a neat tilted square
(bright yellow as a bath time duck)
is a family of black (perfect picture book) ducks –
waddling happily against a backdrop
of bare branches and blue sky,
oblivious of cars and buildings –
A duck crossing sign,
near my home, putting a skip in my step
Who changed this sign
from ONE WAY to ONE LOVE?
Shifting letters so perfectly that we look twice
to make sure that we are seeing it correctly…
Who knew that it would lift our hearts
on misty mornings
or make us laugh out loud
on sunny afternoons?
Who changed this sign that greets us
at this crossing each day?
And who decided to leave it this way?
© Anita Patel, 2017
Published by anitapatel
Anita Patel is a writer (and retired teacher) who has lived in Canberra since 1982. She is as Australian as a banana paddle pop and a pair of sandy thongs and she is also a part of the Asian diaspora. Her collections of poetry are: 'Petals Fall' published by Recent Work Press in 2022 (https://recentworkpress.com/product/petals-fall) and 'A Common Garment' published by Recent Work Press in 2019 (https://recentworkpress.com/product/a-common-garment/).
In 2019 she collaborated with acclaimed artist, Annie Franklin, to produce 'Heart Stitched' (a story (in paintings and poetry) of the quirky, unexpected and dazzling layers in the natural world).
She has had work published in the Canberra Times, in Conversations (Pandanus Press, ANU), in Block 9, Burley Journal, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Demos Journal, Mascara Literary Review, Not Very Quiet Journal, Cordite Poetry Review, Backstory Journal, Other Terrain Journal, Pink Cover Zine, FemAsia Magazine, Plumwood Mountain Journal and Eucalypt: a tanka journal, The Australian Poetry Anthology (Vol. 8 2020) and Print Issue 42 of The Blue Nib Journal. Her children’s poems are included in an anthology Pardon My Garden published by Harper Collins. Her poem “Women’s Talk” won the ACT Writers Centre Poetry Prize in 2004 and her poetry was selected for and published in Australian Book Review’s States of Poetry ACT, 2018.
She has performed her work at the Canberra Multicultural Festival, Poetry on the Move Festival, Noted Festival, Floriade Fringe Festival, In Other Words Festival (at Lost in Books, Fairfield), the Queensland Poetry Festival, the National Folk Festival, at Smith’s Alternative, at Word in Hand, Glebe and La Mama Poetica.
Her reviews, “Found in Translation”, on the performances of four Japanese women poets and their translators at Poetry on the Move Festival, 2017 and “No More Silent Waiting”, on the anthology Autonomy edited by Kathy D’Arcy (2018) have been published by Not Very Quiet Journal. She was the guest editor for Issue 2 of Not Very Quiet Journal. View all posts by anitapatel