Almanac Poetry: ‘Changeling’ – Robyn Black




“…Parliament expresses our formal and sincere apology to the

mothers, fathers, sons and daughters who were profoundly harmed

by past adoption practices in Victoria.” – Parliamentary Apology

[by] Government of Victoria,  Australia, 2012



My mother never knew my face

no touch of tiny fingers

counted toes or holding close

yet she felt me


insistently, I would have pushed

against soft membrane

fluttered, elbowed and booted

gently swelling against convention


maybe I announced myself with

hiccups and heartburn and a sadness

too empty to describe

if she had been allowed;


the succour of mouth and nipple

denied, how she must have cried

with only imagined imprint of

touch to scar empty palms


the years have now ticked

full lifetimes and yet

the mirror traps echoes,

each glance a question



A changeling, amorphous and unconnected

our shadows do not touch

I have no measure, nor memory

just these hands that I watch.


©Robyn Black


More poetry from Robyn can be read Here.


To purchase No Straight Lines click Here.



More poetry from Almanac Poetry can be read HERE


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  1. Colin Ritchie says

    A very heartfelt and moving poem, thank you for sharing Robyn.

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