Sweet Girl by Dawn Garisch

POEM: Sweet girl

A poem by Dawn Garisch

BY DAWN GARISCH

The wilderness: exuberance
of form and colour, was chopped
and burnt for this: swathes of sugar
bulbs and grass, labourers bending
– insatiable task – gathering tuber and fibre
to drip their syrup. Conveyor belt mouths.

Every Friday, back from boarding,
I’d run to my father’s sugarlove hoard:
the fruit drops and peppermint crisps,
chocolate bars, and toffee twists.
Such exuberance of form and colour
lay spread across my bed! I ate and ate,
kept eating, to compensate my father’s
hard-boiled childhood, the sacrifice,
the waste; yet hungered bitterly
for a different kind of taste.

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