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Image by Brian McGowan

the waves beneath the pier

distort my face like broken mirrors

I look for her through splitting shards of fallen time

my eyes aim down;

             stretch; squint; search

             reach out in seeking spotlights

my sight sinks forward until I find her image

my mind grabs wild through warped wood gaps

           where she appears

I see the face I once reflected

I see the girl who proudly wore my name

           its letters dressed in childhood scribbles

           a written sign of a surer self

           an age held tight on a bright round badge

a gift she dropped

          and left behind

to lie in camouflage of burst balloons


her face changed with the way she wore her name

today her badge is a piss-up passport

a number used for proof instead of honour

it gifts a crumpled wrist-worn tag

a paper bracelet used until expired

              and left behind

to lie in camouflage of burst balloons


Sarah Jane Justice is a multi-disciplinary writer and performer. Her poetry and short fiction have been published by outlets such as The Bombay Review, Capsule Stories, and Eerie River Publishing. As a spoken word artist, she has won numerous awards, including performing at the Sydney Opera House as a national finalist in the 2018 Australian Poetry Slam. She has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in short fiction, created an ekphrastic poetry/photography exhibition, and recorded two studio albums of original music.

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