Another World

By Margaret Ruckert
Abstract black lines

By Margaret Ruckert

This poem was shortlisted for the Right Now Poetry Competition, judged by Maxine Beneba-Clarke, Amanda Anastasi and Benjamin Solah. Read the shortlist here


awaits the elderly

awaits those who least expect –

their children

I draw a portrait of the dilemma

in thick black lines that invade

and parody both our known worlds


she wakes at 7 dollars

pays for lunch with 29 minutes

each day a little less daylight


it’s what we all do – forget

but this one forgets tomorrow

and replaces yesterday


no, it’s not lies, that’s so unfair

hers – an alternative truth

tells me she went to the bank


but no, she doesn’t go to the bank

or an ATM, her card was captured

when she pressed the bank for millions


a frontal lobe is a mindfield of traps

dementia is a patient who doesn’t know

they don’t know, memory’s a dice-throw


an important fact, a street name arrives

but the number is changed to confound

the innocent, some say she’s confused


lives on the other side of the railway –

another line that divides us – my mother

on the other side of secure


Margaret Owen Ruckert, educator and poet, won the 2012 IP Poetry Book of the Year for musefood. A previous winner of NSW Women Writers National Poetry Award, she is widely published. Margaret is Facilitator of Hurstville Discovery Writers and a Cafe Poet. Her first book You Deserve Dessert explored sweet foods.