|Ward (detail), pastel on paper, A2|
White on white, soft feathers can’t hide the black needle tips.
I listen to what they are always telling me and try not to look,
even as I stretch out my naked arm.
An extract from my contribution to an anthology The Hush Treasure Book, developed in conjunction with the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne and featuring many different Australian authors and illustrators, due to be published in early August. My own poem "Ward" was inspired by a hospital visit during which one child was receiving chemotherapy, and I became very interested in the ways in which seriously ill children are able to manage their fear, and even to some extent the fear of their parents. I was also inspired by the fact that wards in the RCH are named after different animals, there is something quite ancient and resonant about this. For more info about Hush, click here.