Bonny Cassidy is completing a PhD thesis on the poetry of Jennifer Rankin and Jennifer Maiden at University of Sydney. Her poetry has been published in various journals and anthologies, and her first libretto will be performed as an opera in June. In 2008 Bonny will be undertaking a residency in Japan supported by AsiaLink and the Malcolm Robertson Foundation. Bonny co-edited The Salon Anthology: New Writing + Art (Sydney: non-generic, 2007) and works as Chief Researcher for The Red Room Company.


The mourner

His right foot drags an affected waltz
as if the way back lingers behind –
to a time of still
before he were wiser –
a time that comes after
death, after knowledge.
His legs snap shut. Only
the mules fill the cone of dust
before the next heave forward.
They bungle right through it on the double,
and he imagines animals alone
must own that frosting time,
always between one step and another.


For Mo Jingjing

A punching bag rises
in the breeze before rain. Above it,
waving, thumbs of mango buds.
She shows me how to pinch
egg wrappers into goldfish;
warm and yellow corners
of mushroom jostling, plashed with flour
to grow clear and tight in soup.
A small and dusty crowd gathers on the tabletop –
leaning one another in stretchy fatigue, pleated tails
skirting the fingerbowl.

The radio jabbers into the trees.
I wonder how many mangoes
will grip the end of winter;
and whether she’ll be here to slice them,
or back in the thick of Hunan, deaf
to that blushing drop of night fruit.
We’ve been hushed by our silent, signing work.
Dumplings bob through plain, hot water
as the storm clouds twist and slow.