Ian C Smith
Teahouse, dark lake, all but forgotten
Teenagers, we wed, my fiancée not yet pregnant
though dancing guests love clinging to clichés.
After the reception at my new in-laws we decamp
to a rented two-room backyard bungalow
patrolled by a sour widow, our voyeuristic landlady.
Thirty-six hours later we journey east by train,
my savings eked for a three-day honeymoon
at Lakes Entrance because I love the name, the idea,
imagining future pleasing replies when asked.
Rural waiting rooms glimpsed slide into my past.
Not working disorients my obsessive senses, as does
sharing a bed all night despite sex on awakening.
Ways of loving, understanding, vague, my privacy
paramount, I skitter from strangers’ glances
touching us, their resentment of what we get up to.
A non-swimmer doggedly compiling a romantic CV,
cigarettes soaked, elbows a semaphore, hull sloshing,
seagulls wheeling, eyes, beaks, claws, from a movie,
I manage to moor at a teahouse in miasmal mist.
Cloud low now, her laugh’s dark ripples echo.
Ian C Smith’s work has appeared in Antipodes, Australian Book Review, Australian Poetry Journal, Critical Survey, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Stony Thursday Book, and Two-Thirds North. His seventh book is wonder sadness madness joy (Ginninderra Press). He lives in the Gippsland Lakes area of Victoria, Australia.