We are losing our parents, 
3 mothers of friends 
this month, like a middle-age 
phase we’re going through. 
The aunts and uncles 
too, my name I see 
beside the telephone 
of one, 
I’m down as next of kin 
beside the lawyer 
Mr Dick Crush, 
I don’t know 
which is more ridiculous. 
Under the blankets 
I calculate the cost 
of death and travel. 
You are in the wardrobe 
trying to trap 
a mouse with your shoes. 
It’s hopeless I say 
where are the adults 
when you need them. 
I’m still standing on the beach 
in my togs and bermuda shorts 
waiting for the parents 
to find 
a park 

This is about you – isn’t it?

Your wrist is wrapped in pearls, 
I wanted you to be married 
I misheard that you were. 
Misheard too, that your grandfather 
carved an ice boat. 
I made up the science 
of how it would float, 
imagined the refrigerated warehouse 
where he’d work 
wearing ski gear 
in the evenings. 
I wanted to know how 
you walk uphill 
in those heels, 
to know how you hang up 
your clothes, 
the angles and geometry. 
I imagined you laying 
them out flat, 
fitting them together 
like a jigsaw on velvet. 
Your husband would remind you 
how to put them back on 
in the morning. 
He’d build things for you 
like lakes 
for your swans. 
I wanted you to be married 
so that I could be married – 
I guess it’s as simple as that. 

Listen to Michele Amas read ‘This is about you – isn’t it?’


I watch the man 
outside the crèche, 
see his back twist 
in that lumbar turn 
it takes to get a child 
into a car seat, 
the angle and pull 
to reach the seatbelt across. 
The faces so close, 
each inhaling the other 
action and breath; 
one secure 
one securing. 
There are positions 
the body remembers. 
How many times 
did I stretch that way? 
What was I thinking 
when my arms 
were always busy, 
my spine strong 
enough for two. 


Michele Amas is an actor and director who is also winner of the 2005 Adam Foundation Prize, which goes to the top folio of work by an MA (Page) student at the IIML each year. She apologises to anyone who unwittingly finds themselves in her journal.