The Big Issue : Edition 439
THE BIG ISSUE 16 -- 29 AUG 2013 35 inbox and neglected fles I feel such euphoria I’m sure I don’t know myself at all. I think I may spend the afternoon googling adventure holidays. I’ve never been to Nepal. But the offce has a sobering effect and I apply myself until 5 o’clock. On my way home her latest offering greets me. It’s about an unexpected gift and the naked branches of the winter trees. I smile a true smile. I go to her and order a take-home soup and a chocolate brownie, and after that we exchange haiku every day. I become good at noticing the beautiful fragments that other people miss. There are always birds nesting in strange hollows in the city, and mongrel dogs tied up outside the supermarket. There is always the moon and you can always fnd a few stars persisting against the city lights. There are always mothers waiting in line with babies swaddled to their chests and love-addled, sleepless faces. I look around hungrily for them, taking one precious image each day and inserting it between the layers of cling wrap. We often write on the same themes, our poetry plotting the changing seasons. Most afternoons I stop by and our chatter is as loose and easy as our haiku are becoming. She doesn’t know it’s me. Then one day my poem is answered with Daily Special, Coffee and Cake $5.95. There are no haiku for a week. She’s not there, and there’s a different girl in her place. I keep writing. I give my daily haiku to a work colleague instead, little sticky notes on her computer screen. She knows they’re from me and replies with sweet, clumsy little offerings of her own that make me smile. haiku are easy you just scribble some crap on a sticky note Then she writes me some words that sound like they came from the mouth of Buddha and later admits gleefully to having plagiarised them from the internet. One Friday night after work we go out for a drink and then she helps me buy a camera, a fancy digital SLR that feels heavy around my neck. I fnd out the girl from the cafe has run off with the newspaper delivery boy. She climbed into his van and headed off into the sunset. The new girl thinks they’ve ended up in Byron Bay. It doesn’t seem very fair, but I don’t mind. Claire Weigall WORKS PART TIME TIME AS A SOLICITOR IN A MELBOURNE COMMUNITY LEGAL CENTRE, AND HAS TWO SMALL CHILDREN. HER FIRST UNPUBLISHED NOVEL WAS LONG LISTED FOR THE 2008 AUSTRALIAN/VOGEL'S LITERARY AWARD AND SHE IS NOW WORKING ON A YOUNG ADULT NOVEL 'MAKE ME A BIRD'. CLAIRE HAS A PASSION FOR CHILDREN'S PICTURE BOOKS, AND BLOGS ABOUT HER READING AT LEOLASLIBRARY.WORDPRESS.COM. SHE ALSO WRITES ABOUT BALANCING BOTH MOTHERHOOD AND CREATIVITY AT FLYMYPRETTYPAGES.WORDPRESS.COM.